Barcelona has emerged as the world’s most popular bucket-list destination when it comes to watching live soccer, according to a worldwide survey of the sport’s fans conducted by Expedia Group.
Released ahead of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League finale set to take place in Madrid on June 1, the “Destination: Football-Expedia Group Football Travel Trends Study,” found that 30% of the 16,500 soccer fans polled around the world cited Barcelona, home of soccer legend Messi, as their dream soccer destination.
With 15% of the vote, FC Barcelona’s home stadium Camp Nou also emerged the world’s favorite soccer mecca.
After Barcelona, London and Manchester were the most popular bucket-list soccer destinations.
Results of the survey showed that 68% of travelers around the world have planned holidays around sporting events at least once.
Of that figure, 70% of females and 67% of males said they have planned their holidays around their favorite team.
Nearly half (47%) admitted to changing their holiday bookings to make sure they did not miss a match.
The survey revealed that two-thirds (67%) have been to an away game.
Meanwhile, the findings also suggest that if your soccer fan partner suddenly springs a romantic getaway on you, it could actually be a ruse: 32% of respondents admitted to using a romantic break as a pretext for watching a soccer game.
According to Expedia Group data, fights and accommodation bookings for destinations hosting soccer matches can spike up to three times the usual average on the day of soccer fixture announcements, when matches are scheduled and announced.
The UEFA Champions League will be held in Madrid on June 1. RGA/JB