Real, Juventus, Milan Among Top Teams Targeted For New U.S.-Based Tournament
A new, eight-team football tournament called the Guinness Int'l Champions Cup will be held this summer in the U.S. The deal was announced by marketing group Relevent Sports and Fox Sports. Four of the teams announced as participants are Serie A clubs Inter Milan and Juventus, Major League Soccer L.A. Galaxy and La Liga Real Madrid. The other four teams will be announced at a later date. The tournament will open in Europe July 27 in a city to be determined. It will continue over seven days in the U.S. cities of Phoenix, San Franciso, Indianapolis, L.A., N.Y. and Miami. The semifinals will be held Aug. 3-4 in L.A. and N.Y. The tournament will be seen in 151 countries. Fox Soccer will televise 11 matches live, including the Aug. 7 championship. Future tournaments will be televised by Fox Sports 1 (Relevent).
COMING TO AMERICA: REUTERS' Simon Evans reported the U.S. "has become a leading destination" for European clubs to play lucrative pre-season friendly tours, but the eight-team tournament "promises to add a competitive edge." RSE Ventures, which owns Relevent Sports and is headed by billionaire Stephen Ross, said that the tournament "will differ from traditional pre-season friendlies by using a knock-out format and offering significant prize money." Turkish club Galatasaray and two leading English Premier League clubs are also "understood to be in talks aimed at joining the tournament." Relevent Sports CEO Charlie Stillitano said, "We are trying to bring a bit of that Champions League magic to pre-season. We know it is not the Champions League but managers have told us they can't go through pre-season playing games that mean nothing" (REUTERS, 4/17). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Lefton & Ourand reported a source said that "a marquee team like Manchester United could command" up to $2M. Smaller upper-division clubs would cost around $500,000. It is "expected that the tournament winner will get a cash prize" around $1M (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/15 issue).