Kansas City Wizards To Host Soccer Giant Manchester United To Inaugurate New Arrowhead Stadium
The Kansas City Wizards and the Kansas Chiefs today announced the highest-profile international soccer match in the city's history, as English Premier League powerhouse Manchester United will take on the Wizards to inaugurate the New Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, July 25th at 5 p.m. CT.
The game against the Wizards will be the third stop on Manchester United's historic summer tour of North America, which will see them play Scottish club Celtic F.C. in Toronto, Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union in Philadelphia and the MLS All-Stars in Houston. Though the Red Devils, as they are affectionately known, have conducted preseason tours of North America in the past, this summer will be the first time the squad will play teams from Major League Soccer.
"This will be one of the biggest sporting events the Midwest has ever seen, and it's a great opportunity for Kansas City to show that we deserve to be one of the host cities for the World Cup," Wizards President and OnGoal CEO Robb Heineman said. "When OnGoal purchased the Wizards we anticipated bringing high-profile teams like Manchester United to Kansas City, and with our new stadium opening in 2011, our fans can expect more games of this caliber in the future. We are incredibly excited to be able to partner with the Hunt family to bring this massive event to our city."
Tickets, which range from $30 - $200, will go on sale to the public on Saturday, May 15 at 10 a.m. CT. and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000, or by visiting Kansas City area Ticketmaster outlets or the Arrowhead Stadium box office. Premium tickets, VIP opportunities and group tickets can be purchased by calling the Wizards at 888-4KC-GOAL.
There is also a special presale for Kansas City Wizards and Kansas City Chiefs season ticket holders beginning immediately. A ticket to the Wizards vs. Manchester United game is included in the Kansas City Wizards season ticket member package via special game tickets. Wizards season ticket members can reserve their seats online at www.KCWizards.com/ManU or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.
Fans who purchase new Wizards season tickets before May 15 will also get a ticket to the Manchester United game, and will be able to take part in the presale. Season tickets start at only $150 and can be purchased by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.
"We are very excited to welcome Manchester United as the first event in the build up to the grand opening of the New Arrowhead," Chiefs Chairman Clark Hunt said. "Manchester United is one of the most popular brands in all of sports, and we're thrilled to have them make their inaugural appearance in Kansas City in the New Arrowhead this July."
Founded in 1878, Manchester United Football Club is one of the most successful clubs in soccer history. The team has won a total of 50 major English trophies, including 18 league titles (tied for most all-time), 11 FA Cups (most all-time), four League Cups and 17 Community Shields (most all-time). The team has been especially dominant since the advent of the Premier League in 1992. Manchester United has won 11 of the 17 available Premier League titles in that span, including the last three starting in 2007. United will have a chance to capture their record 19th Premier League, and unprecedented fourth consecutive title this weekend, as they currently sit one point behind league leaders Chelsea heading into the final match day of the 2009-2010 season.
The club has also been a force at the international level, having won three European championships with the 1968 European Cup and the 1999 and 2008 UEFA Champions Leagues. United is the only British team to have won a club world cup competition, having done so twice. United defeated Brazilian club Palmeiras to bring home the Intercontinental Cup in 1999 and defeated Ecuadorian team LDU Quito to win the FIFA Club World Cup in 2008. United is known for being the first European club to accomplish the "treble" in 1999, by winning their domestic league, domestic cup and European championship all in the same season.
Manchester United is also a renowned name in the world of sports business. In 2009, Forbes ranked United as the wealthiest sports team in the world, with an estimated worth of $1.8 billion.
The club is famous for continually showcasing the top players in the world. Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo won the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year award during his time at Manchester United, and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham was brought up in their academy and won six Premiership championships with the club. Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Dutch defender Jaap Staam and Danish goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel all made their biggest impact on world soccer while with Manchester United.
Managed by Sir Alex Ferguson since 1986, Manchester United currently boasts a lineup full of international stars such as Wayne Rooney (England), Patrice Evra (France), Dimitar Berbatov (Bulgaria), Nani (Portugal), Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands), Antonio Valencia (Ecuador), Paul Scholes (England) and legendary midfielder Ryan Giggs (Wales) who has been a part of every United Premier League Championship and holds the record for most appearances in club history with 837. Rooney scored his 100th Premier League goal this season and is currently tied for the English Premier league scoring lead with 26 goals. In addition, last month Manchester United added to its stable Mexican star Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who is considered one of the top young players in the world. United are committed to fielding all of its players for the North American tour who are not obligated to World Cup duties.
"It's great to be going back to North America," Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson said. "I enjoyed the last two tours there in 2003 and 2004 immensely. The quality of the facilities is outstanding and there is real enthusiasm in the crowds. It's especially pleasing to be going in a World Cup year, when interest in football will be at its height."
For more information on Manchester United, please visit the team's official website www.manutd.com
Attendance at the Wizards/Manchester United game is expected to shatter the previous record high for a soccer match in Kansas City, which took place in 2001. There were 37,319 people in attendance at Arrowhead Stadium to see the United States Men's National Team defeat Costa Rica 1-0 off a goal from current Wizards forward Josh Wolff in a crucial qualifier for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The United States Women's National team has also enjoyed large crowds in Kansas City, playing in front of 36,405 fans in a friendly match against Finland in October of 1999.
Kansas City was recently chosen as one of 18 host cities that will be included in the United States' bid to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup, with the newly-renovated 76,000-capacity Arrowhead Stadium serving as the city's primary venue. Kansas City offers unrivaled amenities and affordable prices for fans, world-class facilities for teams and a rich history as the quintessential American city. Over 11,500 people have already signed the petition to bring the FIFA World Cup to Kansas City - join them by clicking here and visiting www.gousabid.com - the official site of the United States World Cup Bid Committee.
What: Kansas City Wizards vs. Manchester United
When: Sunday, July 25 - 5 p.m. CT
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Tickets: Range from $30 to $200 and will go on sale to the public on Saturday, May 15 at 10 a.m. CT. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000, or by visiting Kansas City area Ticketmaster outlets or the Arrowhead Stadium box office. Premium tickets, VIP opportunities and group tickets can be purchased by calling the Wizards at 888-4KC-GOAL.
There is also a special presale for Kansas City Wizards and Kansas City Chiefs season ticket holders beginning immediately. A ticket to the Wizards/Manchester United game is included in the Kansas City Wizards season ticket holder package, and Wizards season ticketholders will use their special game tickets for the game on July 25. Wizards season ticket holders can reserve their seats online at www.KCWizards.com/ManU or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.
Fans who purchase new Wizards season tickets before May 15 will get a ticket to the Manchester United game, and will also be able to take part in the presale. Season tickets start at only $150 and can be purchased by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.
Note: The Kansas City Wizards game at the Chicago Fire, previously scheduled for July 24th, has been rescheduled and will now take place on Tuesday, October 12th at 7:30 p.m. CT.
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