British experiential design consultancy MET Studio has completed the design of an exciting, new, immersive exhibition and experience for the world's most famous football club, Manchester United. The Manchester United Experience is a £1.5m, 1000 sq m indoor attraction, located within the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel in Macau - a SAR (special administrative region) and former Portuguese colony in south-east China.
It is the first ever visitor attraction featuring the club to be opened outside of Manchester United's Old Trafford heartland (and Asia's only interactive football experience) and has been created to appeal to both fans and a lay audience alike. "Our ambition in designing the space," commented MET Studio's Alexander McCuaig, head of graphics and AV on the project, "was to create the most exciting and world-class football experience outside of actually watching the beautiful game live." With the company's long experience in masterplanning major visitor attractions and in-depth knowledge of Far Eastern markets, MET Studio was ideally placed to help develop the look and feel of the scheme, jointly with the client, from the earliest stages.
Visitors are taken through the highly interactive experience on a route, which covers everything from the earliest beginnings of the club to a real sense of what it means to support, play for and manage the world-class club of today. From huge-scale media walls to exhibits which allow fans to pit their own footballing skills against today's team, to being directly addressed by Sir Alex Ferguson in a behind-the-scenes look at the Old Trafford Changing Room and joining the players in the tunnel before a game, the experience completes in a wraparound and highly stylised 4-minute presentation of a classic Manchester United game, atmospherically captured and re-presented by award-winning film director Daryl Goodrich (the man behind "Sport at Heart," the film that launched the British bid to host the 2012 London Olympics).
Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson, who, along with United legend Brian McClair, formally opened the attraction, commented: "The Experience really captures the spirit and the atmosphere of this great club. The amazing way in which they have used technology makes it really feel like you are in the United dressing room or lining up with the players in the tunnel. It's the next best thing to being at Old Trafford." United's Chief Executive David Gill added: "The Experience has exceeded all expectations. It is an exciting prospect for our fans in Asia and I am sure it will prove to be an extremely popular attraction."
MET Studio's client on the project was The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, owned, as is its sister hotel in Las Vegas, by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. The Vegas hotel, opened in 1999, is America's largest AAA Five-Diamond Resort and is comprised of 4049 suites and a 120,000 sq ft casino. The Venetian hotel in Macau is part of a new-build, mixed use, retail and leisure complex on the Cotai Strip, bordered by canals. The hotel rooms are arranged around the perimeter of the complex, which also features a casino on the ground floor, a Cirque du Soleil attraction and a large variety of food court and retail usage, including a 600 sq m Manchester United Megastore (designed by Head in Hong Kong), which serves as an entry point to the Manchester United Experience.