The new real estate investment star – Football Grounds

It’s no secret that the business of Football is big money. The world’s most popular sport also churns out the highest numbers in business, making it a prime investment target. But going beyond the stadiums and its clubs, the beautiful game is fast emerging as a successful real estate investment option.

Right from Schools placing importance on the sport at a very early age to countries increasing their budgets for training and development of their local teams, its popularity has encouraged one too many to put on their boots and hit the field. And with that demand emerged the supply – rental grounds with real or artificial turf. They come in all sorts of sizes and facilities, each with its own unique take. So how good is the business? Let’s dive in deep.

What’s the ideal location like? Anywhere. Bonus points if your property is situated next to a residential complex, business park or school. It can be a property dedicated just for this or a roof-top converted into a ground (they’re a crowd favourite). Open your gates as early as 5:00AM and let it flood till late night.

What’s the minimum area required? For an average 5-a-side turf, any area between 8000 to 10,000 sq ft should give you space for your turf (4500sq ft) and your basic amenities like bathrooms, water booths, security office, stand, etc. But remember that 5-a-side grounds are perfect for tiki taka plays and pass practices but may not be enough for the runners.

Investing in a 7-a-side turf requires larger space – 10,000 sq ft of turf and an additional 10,000sq ft for the amenities.

How much should one invest? The investment will range between INR 20 Lakhs for a 5-a-side turf to INR 30 lakhs for a 7-a-side turf. The chunk of the investment will naturally, go towards an artificial turf. Invest in a good quality turf to keep your customers and your maintenance budget happy. What’s the best in the market right now? The FIFA 2 Star certified turf. You’re looking at approximately INR 7-10 Lakhs (USD 9900 – 14,200) for a 5-a-side turf and INR 18-20 (USD 25,600 – 28,400) Lakhs for 7-a-side turf.

When can you expect to breakeven? Unlike other businesses, this winner can have you break even any time between 18 to 24 months. Generating a monthly revenue between INR 1.7 Lakhs to INR 3 Lakhs (USD 2500 – 4300) a month, depending on your turf size.

What is it going to cost you to manage and maintain your ground? You’re looking at a monthly cost of INR 1 to 1.3 Lakhs (USD 1400 – 1850) for Operations and Maintenance that should cover rent, electricity, salaries, footballs, football accessories and other miscellaneous expenses.

It’s entirely up to you on how you want to develop your ground. Either you offer just the turf, or you can couple it with other amenities at the location like a small café. You could even use your ground to train and coach players. Go one step ahead to build an academy and organise tournaments. The premier league might have just concluded but the Football calendar is always ON, it’s the new real estate goldmine.

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