European clubs launch post-pandemic tours in the United States


The game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, highlights the Five-club, five-match Football Champions Tour hosted by sports and entertainment giant AEG – which also owns Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy. The inaugural edition of the event features just a few of the pre-season games European clubs scheduled Stateside after a pandemic-induced hiatus.

real Madridwho have just won the Champions League and La Liga titles, and Barcelona are joined in the series by the Italian Juventus and Mexican clubs America and Chivas Guadalajara. Meanwhile, English Premier League champions Manchester City and Premiership rivals Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton and Germany’s Bayern Munich are touring the United States simultaneously, all keen to rekindle the the ardor of their American fans and strengthen and expand ties with North American business partners.

“Right now, I think a lot of people are really looking forward to seeing some of the teams that they usually see in the summer,” said Tom Braun, AEG’s senior vice president for football and business operations and business development.”it’s been so longSince seeing them, the absence has made people excited to come back to see the teams play and see the players.”

The tickets for the The Barca-Real Madrid game is almost complete, with Ticketmaster showing prices ranging from around $250 to $900 for field-level seats. The only previous Clasico played in the United States was in 2017 to a sold-out crowd at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Barcelona win 3-2. “It’s still very new in the United States to see these two teams go against each other, so I don’t think it’s watering down, I think it’s just encouraging interest not only in clubs but in the sport as well.” , Braun said. . “There are a lot of very strong followers of both teams in the United States.”

With European clubs preparing for their seasons, American fans won’t necessarily see all the top players. Real Madrid star Karim Benzema will likely be missed Saturday game against Barcelona. The France international was due to join his teammates on Tuesday.

“Priority Target”

But exhibition games can also present tantalizing glimpses of new acquisitions. Erling Haaland, the 21-year-old goalscoring phenomenon recently obtained by Manchester Citycould feature in his new club, which will face America in Houston on Wednesday before playing at Bayern Munich at Lambeau Field in the Green Bay Packers on Saturday.

Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling has joined his new teammates, while Barcelona could reveal Polish star Robert Lewandowski while in the United States. If managers have long had difficulty integrating new actors and otherwise prepare for a new season away from home, there is a crucial commercial aspect to visits.

Financially troubled Barcelona noted on their website that their the tour includes President Joan Laporta and other board members “who have a long agenda of social and business events” as they see “one of the main targets of expand Barca’s name globally“There are a lot of ambitions to engage with business partners in a different way,” Braun said. “I think it’s more important than just making money.”


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