By Russell Vannozzi
Big-time European soccer is coming to the United States this summer, and Nashville will be right in the middle of the action.
News broke Tuesday that Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City of the English Premier League will play an International Champions Cup friendly at Nissan Stadium on July 29.
The matchup is unlike any event the Music City has hosted before. Tottenham and Manchester City represent two of the world’s top soccer clubs and have rosters loaded with star power, including the likes of Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
Nashville has hosted several friendlies between national teams but has never hosted two club teams. Last fall’s game between Mexico and New Zealand drew over 40,000 fans to Nissan Stadium.
According to a press release from the Tennessee Titans, the 2017 International Champions Cup will feature 12 games in 11 U.S. cities from July 19-30. Other top clubs slated to make the trek to America include England’s Manchester United, France’s Paris Saint-Germain, and Spain’s FC Barcelona.
The impact of this game will certainly be felt as Nashville continues to push for a Major League Soccer franchise. The city is currently one of 12 vying for just four expansion spots.
Tottenham and Manchester City will likely draw a large following from the eastern U.S. and some may even venture across the pond for the game. However, what will be most interesting is the number of Tennessee natives that buy tickets. That type of in-depth information is unlikely to be released to the public, but MLS officials will certainly be keeping a close eye on the event to see how Nashville responds.
Event organizers cannot have a repeat of last summer’s mishap during the U.S.-Guatemala game, when long security and concession lines ruined the experience for many in attendance.
That issue seems to have been solved, but Nashville needs this summer’s game to go smoothly in order to impress the MLS expansion committee. If nothing else, the game represents Middle Tennessee’s first opportunity to get a glimpse at some of the best soccer in the world.
Tickets go on sale to the public on April 4 and can be purchased here.