Instead of churning out another David Beckham soccer academy, Goldenballs has decided to go bigger and better with the creation of David Beckham’s World of Sport, set to be complete by 2010.
The location this time is in Brazil and the setting is luxury resort Cabo São Roque, located 20 miles north of Natal, the capital of Rio Grande do Norte. The digs are basically the standard trimmings for luxury resorts (indoor/outdoor pools, two golf courses, tennis courts) but Brand Beckham adds a special tourism niche.
To answer the obvious joke, no, David Beckham is not trying to teach the Brazilians how to play football. What separates this from his usual Academies is Beckham’s hopes to use the facility for a scholarship program for Brazilian children, with active outreach to local and regional schools to attract said children. “I don’t want to teach [Brazilians] to play soccer,” Beckham was quoted as saying by the Agencia Estado news service, “I want to offer a safe place for kids to develop their abilities.”
This resort is not just a safe place, its pretty much football paradise. Beckham’s World of Sport will top the resort with eight pitches (two of artificial turf), accommodations for resort guests, individual players, and teams, as well as a stadium that can seat 10,000 (presumably to also host some of Brazil’s 2014 games).
Outside of that, the resort will also include a professional go-kart track and four-wheel driving facility created by Brazilian Formula One driver Ruben Barrichello. This area of the resort is appropriately titled, “the Rubens Barrichello Driving Experience“, and will offer another scholarship program for the younger Brazilian set, in the aims of discovering the next Formula One driving champion. Said Barrichello in a statement: “I’m in this project with my name and my experience and I’ve bought the whole idea. It’s an honor to share a partnership with a great name like Beckham, who has done so much to so many children who needed help. This development will certainly open new frontiers here.”
Beckham and Barrichello are not venturing just their own capital in this creation. Brazil Development Investimentos Turisticos Ltda (BDIT) is the business head of this monster, setting forth plans to build a resort that breaks the mold both in sport and in design. Cabo São Roque is being touted as an ecologically friendly resort, and their design team has been consulting with environmental agencies to ensure that the resort preserves its natural surroundings.
Besides the resort lodgings, the grounds will contain 1,350 private freehold residences built throughout this gated community. Naturally Beckham and Barrichello have already committed to purchasing their own homes on the property, with a variety of ecologically-conscious models to choose from.
“We are delighted with the fantastic support of both David Beckham and Rubens Barrichello within Cabo Sao Roque and will be making periodic announcements regarding our Phase One hotel partners, vacation home sales representatives and additional alliances with leading sports icons and governing bodies,” commented Torben Franzten, resort development president of BDIT. “Over time, we believe that the outstanding array of accommodations and the professional quality athletic complex to be built at Cabo Sao Roque will attract major sporting teams to train here, as well as draw some of the world’s most prestigious events to select the resort as a host location.”
The development group is also planning to invest in the existing surroundings, to upgrade the infrastructure of nearby fishing village Maxaranguape, in effort to improve the local economy and Brazil’s overall tourism industry. Included in these planned upgrades are the construction of a new hospital, a new school, and a purported influx of employees to staff the resort and its improved surroundings.
“I am honored to be associated with this incredible project which will build world-class sporting facilities in Brazil, hopefully having a major impact at a local level and internationally,” Beckham said in a statement.
A special thanks to Digital News Agency for the initial story, video and images.
David Beckham’s World Of Sport