Manchester City and Chelsea have announced a second date on their post-season North American tour, following up on a late-May visit to St. Louis with match two nights later in New York.
The May 25 match will be played at Yankees Stadium, an increasingly frequent player in these cash-heavy North American stops for heavyweights of the European game. Last year, Real Madrid and A.C. Milan met at the new ground with the old name. Also inside Yankee Stadium last year, Paris Saint-Germain met Chelsea.
It will be interesting to see if New York matches St. Louis in early excitement, as measured by the speed at which folks in the Midwest were willing to hand over cash for the May 23 match inside Busch Stadium, another Major League Baseball ground.
That match sold out in 20 minutes. Fairly impressive for a 46,000-seat ground, eh?
Trouble is, St. Louis hasn’t exactly been on the rotation as the Euro heavies swoop in for their American cash grabs. New York has been, and the market may not be as fertile considering the B-list of players Chelsea and City are almost sure to bring in for this one. Almost all of their front line men also pull international duty. And with a round of World Cup qualifiers set for early June, the namey names will presumably be resting or already in training with their national teams.
Suffice to say, the big boys won’t be traveling into the States for a post-season tour in which they have pretty much zero interest following a grueling EPL campaign. Generally speaking, most professional groan mightily at any mention of “post-season training or tours.” They typically don’t see the point.
On the other hand, New York is clearly a bigger market, with far more potential ticket buyers. Perhaps the one or two big stars that Chelsea and City do bring will be enough. We’ll see.
Either way … here what Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano said via the club’s website:
Since City’s visit to the United States in 2010, our relationship with North American fans has continued to grow. We are enthusiastic believers in the development of soccer in the US and have seen first-hand the passion that North American supporters have for the beautiful game. We are delighted to bring City to their doorstep.”
Yes … just not City’s best version. The flagship men will be on someone else’s doorstep.