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Ravens Hope To Bring More Int'l Soccer Teams To M&T Bank Stadium

Ravens Hope European Soccer Matches Will Be
Annual Summer Event At M&T Bank Stadium

Ravens officials are hoping that "top flight European soccer matches will become an annual" summer event at M&T Bank Stadium, according to Kevin Van Valkenburg of the Baltimore SUN. Ravens VP/Stadium Operations Roy Sommerhof yesterday said that the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority are "in talks with several European soccer clubs about future dates, and the goal is to bring the highest level club soccer to M&T Bank Stadium for at least the next three summers." The Ravens and the MSA recently reached a deal to host Inter Milan-Manchester City at M&T Bank Stadium this July, and last summer played host to an AC Milan-Chelsea match as part of the World Football Challenge. Sommerhof said, "What we've heard from those in the soccer world is that the first match put Baltimore on the soccer map internationally. Now there are teams, like Manchester City, that heard about that game and really want to play in Baltimore. We're actually getting calls from people that are interested in coming to play here. Getting calls out of the blue like that is a pretty good thing for us." One of the "long-term goals on everyone's wish list is for M&T Bank Stadium to be selected as one of the sites for World Cup matches" if the U.S. is the host country for either the '18 or '22 tournament. Van Valkenburg notes the Ravens have been "gradually branching out in recent years attempting to find new ways to generate additional revenue for the franchise." M&T Bank Stadium will host the NCAA men's lacrosse championship for the fourth time this week, and also has been the "host for college football games." Sommerhof said that the Ravens "would like to have more musical acts play M&T Bank Stadium, but the limited number of touring artists who can fill a stadium these days has made it difficult" (Baltimore SUN, 5/25).

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