As soccer gains popularity in U.S., private fields are added to luxe buildings

Paramount WorldCenter
Paramount WorldCenter

The latest goal of real estate developers is to cash in on the world’s fascination with soccer. So much so, that one tony new high-rise residence in Miami in particular this year, is touting its regulation-sized soccer field as the ultimate amenity.

Downtown Miami residential behemoth Paramount WorldCenter, is the prime example of this latest attempt at luring buyers with a large-scale, not often seen building amenity. Its inclusion of a regulation-sized soccer field on its two-acre, ninth-floor sporting deck will hopefully keep buyers off the sidelines and bring them onto the playing field.

The rationale is that in many countries around the world, soccer represents tradition and would be considered not just another throwaway amenity to high-net-worth families investing in U.S. property. So what better way to set one’s development aside from the others in international investors’ eye?

“You never get this extent of private, elevated space in a residential development in Miami so what do we do with it? The first idea was for a walking park, with possibly tennis courts. Then the light bulb went off. Miami is all about living longer, and being health crazed,” explains Peggy Fucci of One World Properties, whose company manages all sales and marketing for the residential component of the Paramount WorldCenter project. “Then we started asking ourselves who our buyers would be. Miami has always been attracting South American buyers but we’re now also a huge magnet for Europeans, as well as buyers from Turkey, the Middle East, and Asia”

With more and more emphasis being placed on over-the-top amenities devoted to public leisure and luxury space, this go-big-or-go-home-approach to marketing projects appears to be the natural evolution of branding using futbol celebs’ names. Forbes lists some recent examples including, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (who has won four European Championship League titles) launching his own line of luxury boutique hotels. Likewise iconic British athlete David Beckham is hoping to bring professional MLS soccer to downtown Miami with a new stadium.

The sports-theme is so entrenched, that soccer stars are now putting their money where their brand is; at least six professional soccer players who have already bought residences in the Paramount WorldCenter themselves.

And lest you think soccermania is only running wild down south, even Manhattan seems to be getting in on the game. An Upper East Side Manhattan new development on 180 East 88th Street will include an indoor soccer field in its pitch, albeit a smaller version of the Paramount WorldCenter’s.