By Steve Keating NEW YORK (Reuters) - The quest for trophies may be the number one objective of every sports franchise in the world but boosting revenue is a close second as clubs and leagues focus as much on the bottom line as scoreline. FC Barcelona, Olympique Marseille, Germany's Bundesliga, baseball's Chicago Cubs, the NFL and NHL all underlined their global ambitions at the Sport Business Summit in New York and the importance of building a brand in a competitive sporting landscape. For the NHL, which is waffling on its participation at next year's Pyeongchang Winter Games, it is the 2022 Beijing Olympics and a gateway into the coveted China market that is the carrot being dangled by the International Olympic Committee that could ultimately sway the league to come to South Korea.
If you had planned to go watch Barcelona vs. Real Madrid in El Clasico Miami this summer, and haven’t bought tickets yet, be ready to pay more than $500 per seat for upper deck. More than 46,000 tickets have already been sold for the match at Hard Rock Stadium, according to event organizers, and the cheapest seats — $200 for member presale — are long gone. Many South Florida soccer fans have been shocked — and disappointed — by ticket prices for the July 29 exhibition match between the Spanish powerhouses. “I was really excited to go with my wife and our friends, to see Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Luis Suarez, but it’s just an exhibition match, and I don’t understand how they can charge those prices,” said David Pickering of Fort Lauderdale, who has attended soccer exhibitions at the stadium in the past.
Gerard Deulofeu says he would lose his mind if he began to think about the prospect of returning to Barcelona. The winger joined AC Milan on loan from Everton until the end of the season in January and has made an impressive start to his Serie A career to earn a recall to Spain's squad for the matches against Israel and France. Deulofeu, 23, has immediately settled with Vincenzo Montella's side, but it is Barca - who maintain a €12million option to buy the player from Everton as part of his 2015 Camp Nou exit - who will determine his long-term future.