Chelsea, Manchester City will play in St. Louis
MAR 29, 2013 2:56p ET
On Thursday, May 23rd the Stadium will welcome a new sport onto the hallowed grounds of Baseball Heaven when English Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester City square off in an international soccer friendly. The match marks the first professional, non-baseball sporting event hosted at the new Busch Stadium.
“Everybody is fired up about soccer in St. Louis,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the Cardinals during a press conference at the stadium. “For me, I think the fun part of this is showcasing Busch Stadium in a different way.”
In order to showcase the stadium in a different way, a baseball field will need to be transformed into a 100-meter by 65-meter (Just short of FIFA regulations) soccer pitch the middle of the Cardinals season.
St. Louis wraps up a series against Milwaukee on Sunday May 19 before embarking on a seven-game road trip only to return on the 29th to host the Kansas City Royals. Needless to say Bill Findley, the Cardinals head groundskeeper, will have his hands quite full that week.
“Bill doesn’t come up with these ideas on his own, like ‘let’s have a soccer game,’” DeWitt said. “But he is great to work with in terms of figuring out how to solve that problem and more importantly how to get ready and back to baseball.”
Both clubs are going to bring full rosters across the pond including Juan Mata, Ferando Torres and Frank Lampard of Chelsea as well as Yaya Toure, David Siva and Sergio Aguero from Manchester City.
“The summer visit to St. Louis is tremendously exciting for Manchester City Football Club,” said Ferran Soriano, Chief Executive for the team in a press release. “The Club’s first tour was in 2010 and we have continued to develop a close relationship with our fans in North America ever since.”
Chelsea, one of the most successful teams in England with four Premeir League titles and seven FA Cups, also is looking forward to the opportunity.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for the club to be able to return to America so quickly after the last tour,” said Chelsea Chief Executive Ron Gourlay, also in a press release. “We will face the strongest opposition in Manchester City and I am sure we will provide a competitive and entertaining match in St. Louis.”
Tickets for the event will start at $30 and go on sale April 2 at 10 a.m. CT through the Busch Stadium Box Office or online at cardinals.com/soccer. There will be a training session on the May 22nd only available for those who purchase the all-inclusive ticket
“We are honored to host this historic match,” DeWitt said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for St. Louisans to see some of the best soccer players in the world.”
The image below gives an idea of what the pitch at Busch Stadium will look like on May 23rd.
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