UEFA are considering holding Champions League final in New York as part of the competition’s upcoming revamp following the 2023/24 season.
European football’s governing body have suggested a selection of alterations to the competition in a bid to stave off the threat of the proposed Super League, including scrapping the round-robin group stages, the introduction of a ‘Swiss system’ and increasing the number of teams from 32 to 36.
According to the Sun, in order to appeal to potential sponsors, UEFA are also pitching the idea of hosting the Champions League final in New York.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has previously suggested that the competition’s showpiece event could be held outside of Europe prior to his election in 2016.
“I think it might be an idea in the future but we have to speak about it,” Ceferin said. “To go from Portugal to Azerbaijan, for example, is almost the same as if you go to New York. For the fans it’s no problem.”
The three upcoming finals are all scheduled to take place in European cities, with Istanbul hosting in 2021 followed by St. Petersburg and Munich. London’s Wembley Stadium in 2024 is the latest confirmed Champions League final venue.
However, the 2023/24 season will see an end to the Champions League in its existing format. The current suggested revamp will see 36 teams qualify for the competition. Each side will play 10 matches, before being put into one league table to determine qualification for the knockout stages. This is known as a ‘Swiss system’.
In order to get this off the ground, UEFA need big money sponsors on board, and are therefore attempting to appeal to the US market.
Despite the shift in continents, the proposal may not have a huge impact on the European viewing market. With the time difference, a 3pm kick off in New York would still see the final broadcast in its usual 8:00pm GMT slot in the UK, and 9pm across most of Europe.