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Volume 26 No. 139
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ICC Matches Struggling To Attract Big Crowds In U.S. This Summer

Crowd sizes at Int'l Champions Cup matches "appear to be dwindling" in the current iteration of the tournament, according to Ryan Bailey of YAHOO SPORTS. A Saturday match at Levi’s Stadium between Benfica and Chivas Guadalajara drew 15,724 fans, "not even a quarter capacity." Announced attendance for Saturday's Arsenal-Fiorentina at Bank of America Stadium was 34,902, meaning "less than half the seats were filled." Real Madrid-Bayern Munich on the same day had "over 10,000 unsold seats" at NRG Stadium, with "large swathes of the upper tiers left unattended." The ICC "no longer has the feel of a competitive tournament" now that its original knockout structure has been removed. It is "no longer a 'cup,'" but a "collection of unrelated friendlies." There also may be an "element of fatigue." When the ICC started in '13, the "premise of watching the titans of Europe clash in the flesh was novel; seven years later, it may have lost its sheen." Perhaps it is "guilty of over-expansion." The "biggest contributing factor to the perceived decline, however, is quite possibly the price of tickets." Tickets for Atletico Madrid-Real Madrid on Friday at MetLife Stadium "range from $73.30 to an eye-opening $791." The cheapest ticket for Bayern Munich-AC Milan in K.C. last night was $52 plus fees. When fans are "paying considerably more for uncompetitive summer matches than elite European fixtures in their native setting, it is easy to see why there may be some reticence in the U.S. market" (, 7/23).

LOSING ITS LUSTER: In Spain, Alfredo Relano wrote the ICC is "starting to feel a little flat." What Relevent Sports Exec Chair Charlie Stillitano "envisaged would be the biggest annual sports showpiece event" of the summer now "seems to have wilted." Clubs like Barcelona and Manchester City have "started to turn their back" on the tournament. Also absent this summer are Liverpool, Chelsea, Olympique Lyon, PSG, AS Roma and Borussia Dortmund. All of them "took part last year but have given it a miss this time." The number of participants has "dropped from 18 to 12" overall (DIARIO AS, 7/23).

July 16
SeatGeek Stadium
Fiorentina vs. Guadalajara
July 17
Dignity Health
Sports Park
Arsenal vs.
Bayern Munich
July 20
Levi's Stadium
Benfica vs. Guadalajara
July 20
Bank of America Stadium
Arsenal vs. Fiorentina
July 20
NRG Stadium
Bayern Munich vs.
Real Madrid
July 23
Real Madrid vs. Arsenal
July 23
Children's Mercy Park
Bayern Munich vs.
AC Milan
July 23
Globe Life Park
Guadalajara vs.
Atletico Madrid
Download the
ICC Attendance Chart