Significant investments announced for strategic projects at IFEMA Madrid, including F1 bid

During a meeting at the Nueva Economía Forum, 13 July, the president of the executive committee of IFEMA Madrid, José Vicente de los Mozos, announced a battery of investments in a set of strategic projects for the institution.

The measures are likely to contribute to further diversification at the venue.

According to De los Mozos, among the first projects to launch after summer will be the transformation of the catering facilities at IFEMA Madrid. “We are investing more than €12.5m to finance a strategic project that will start operating in September 2023 and is expected to turn over more than €121m in the next ten years”.

The venue is committed to offering top-notch leisure and entertainment facilities to complement those available in the capital city with an investment project eagerly awaited by the country’s major show and concert production companies. According to the IFEMA president, “We are adding new infrastructures to the current venue to create the Bulevar de los Musicales (Musicals Boulevard), which is expected to be operational in 2027. This will require an investment of around €40m to build Madrid’s biggest-ever theatres.” 

The project will house long-running events within an outdoor space that will also have a major gastronomic facet. The project will be managed entirely by IFEMA Madrid, with support and investment from partners and sponsors.

De los Mozos also announced plans for a photovoltaic solar plant on the Recinto Ferial, with planned investment between €7m and €9m and an installed capacity of more than 6MW, making it Madrid city's largest solar photovoltaic installation.

The president said the installation was expected to come into operation by the end of 2024 and would reduce the venue's electricity outlay by more than 30%.

The development of Valdebebas was another question addressed by the IFEMA president. The project was put on hold during the two years of the pandemic and has been resumed, having applied to the City Council for land for IFEMA, enabling it to use a plot of more than 500,000 sqm to expand the facilities. De los Mozos said he hoped the land, which is currently linked to the current site by a tunnel that runs under the M-11, would soon be granted and allow the institution to grow and attract more major international events

De los Mozos also confirmed that a letter of request signed by the Government of Spain, the Community of Madrid and the City Council had been sent regarding hosting Formula 1 at the venue in future. He described the plan as “a great project that will put it on the international map as a hub for major business, sports, and leisure projects. We want the event to be far more than just a race. We want it to be the best F1 experience in Europe. No other circuit today is surrounded by twelve halls or is as versatile as IFEMA Madrid. It will make this race a real spectacle.”

As for the current situation regarding the possible assignment of the Palacio de Congresos de la Castellana, the president said, “We are exploring possibilities when the tender is processed, including a possible collaboration with Real Madrid, but this depends on the conditions of the tender from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism… We believe that this asset should be recovered for Madrid, and if it is feasible, we will bid for it.”

He added that IFEMA Madrid could be considered the second economic engine of the Madrid region after Barajas airport, with a contribution of €5,100m (3.2% of the city's GDP and 2.8% of the region's GDP) and more than 40,000 jobs, with a turnover of around €180m.