Soccer
8:58 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Big-time soccer coming to The Big House

Two of the world's biggest soccer teams are officially coming to Ann Arbor. English champions Manchester United will play Spanish giants Real Madrid in the Big House on Aug.  2. The match is part of an off-season tournament that follows the World Cup in Brazil.

If they can fill The Big House, organizers will break the attendance record for a soccer match in the U.S. The stadium already has the records for highest attendance at a college football game and an NHL game. As in the Winter Classic hockey game, the playing surface will have to be redone – this time by placing a grass field over the artificial turf.  

University of Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon, center, and Manchester United Communications Director Phil Townsend, far left, pose with event organizers.
Credit Steve Carmody

University of Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon spoke at the announcement Friday in the Crisler Center. He says a Wolverine football game usually brings around $14 million in economic activity to the surrounding area, but the soccer game might beat that mark "simply because we will likely be having people traveling in from far, far away places, which will fill more hotel rooms, create more commerce, and make this a very, very busy town and campus during an otherwise quiet summer weekend."

Tickets go on sale to the general public on April 10. 

- Noah Gordon, Michigan Radio Newsroom