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Soccer Giants to Descend on Las Vegas this Summer

Penny April 12, 2023

Two of the biggest soccer clubs in world football are planning a trip to Nevada. In preparation for the 23/24 Premier League and Bundesliga seasons, Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund will duke it out in Vegas.

This announcement is sure to stun soccer fans in the city. A high-profile game, this fixture will bring some of the world’s biggest stars to the Allegiant Stadium in July. It marks a high for the sport in the area.

Soccer Las Vegas Summer 2023

The Red Devils’ official website made the announcement. They stated that this move would take “the most famous football club on the planet to the entertainment capital of the world”. And it’s safe to say that many will echo that sentiment. Manchester United are battling to finish in the top four of the English Premier League so that they can add to their three Champions League titles next year. They will hope that testing themselves against one of Germany’s top clubs in Dortmund in the close season will provide a springboard to success. 

A Tour of the US for Manchester United

This Vegas date isn’t United’s only fixture in the US. It has already been announced that the Red Devils will face the Red Dragons of Wrexham in San Diego. That will pit two US-owned clubs against each other. The Welsh team were famously bought by actors and entrepreneurs Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. This tour is seen not only as an opportunity to get fitness up for all clubs involved. Instead, it’s seen as a way of building up support and exposure for European soccer in the states. Given the improvement of the MLS and the USMNT in recent years, now is thought to be the time to capitalize on increased interest. 

Long seen as an emerging market for soccer, the US is increasingly perceived as a hotbed for both talent and support. It may still pale in comparison to American football viewership but the US national team maintained an average of 11 million viewers for their games in 2022. That shows that there is a real market for European teams to tap into. United themselves are one of the world’s best-supported clubs with a reported more than 1 billion registered fans worldwide. This sort of tour will give the club the chance to up the counter. NBC set a record when showing Manchester United v Arsenal in the Premier League earlier this year. It was the most watched US simulcast fixture with almost 2 million people tuning in with the American broadcaster. 

Despite all the positivity, it’s worth addressing the fact that the US is still way off the mark when it comes to nations engaging with the Premier League. The current top countries in terms of fans of the British league are China and India with 300 and 147 million respectively. That plays a big part in the concerted effort by these sides to bed roots across the Atlantic. And it goes well beyond one-off fixtures.


North American Expansion for European Clubs

This isn’t the first time that clubs from across the pond have made a pit stop in the US for an off-season game. In fact, this same year, Chelsea will also make the trip Stateside to play in a tournament. Last year, they too made the trip to Vegas; showing that this part of the world is fast becoming a go-to destination. Famously, six-time Premier League winners Manchester City played a fixture against MLS’ LA Galaxy. That game saw Italian forward Mario Balotelli pulled off directly after showboating in an attempt to score. Obviously, he didn’t, and that earned him the ire of his manager. That has gone down in soccer folklore and that cements the nation at the forefront of discussions on the sport.

While European soccer clubs are obviously looking to the States to expand their fan bases, they’re also ensuring continued interest by poaching top talents. Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, and Brendan Aaronson all ply their trade at Premier League clubs, while Matthew Hoppe and Zak Steffen play for promotion-chasing Middlesbrough in the second division of English football. These clubs may just be looking for emerging talent but it’s hard to look past the commercial opportunity of having stars from the US on a roster. This all plays into the wider search for new audiences.

The fixture between Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund will be played on July 30. Buy tickets for Manchester United v Dortmund. A number of extra matches are expected to be announced shortly, and ticket details will be released to the public in due course.


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