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Volume 6 No. 213

Events and Attractions

Liverpool CCO Billy Hogan revealed that the Premier League club will take on Serie A side AC Milan as part of the 2014 Int'l Champions Cup. At a press conference at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium, which will host the game on Aug. 2, Hogan said that touring is incredibly important from a business and commercial perspective for Liverpool. He said, "It's something that we do to try and bring the club closer to our fan base. We have more than 21 million fans here in the U.S." The Reds will also take on Greek club Olympiacos and EPL rival Man City during the competition. Instead of organizing its own preseason tour, as is usually the case, Liverpool decided to join the eight-team tournament. "There are so many great teams within [the Int'l Champions Cup]. When you think about AC Milan, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Manchester United, those are great global clubs that are all involved," Hogan said. "Sometimes the hardest thing about actually organizing your own tour is who you are going to play." This summer's preseason tour will be Liverpool's seventh trip to the U.S.

GAME TIME: In addition to Liverpool's fixtures, RSE Ventures subsidiary Relevent Sports, which organizes the Int'l Champions Cup, unveiled the complete schedule for the event on Thursday. The second year of the tournament will feature eight of Europe's top clubs, which will be divided into two groups. Liverpool, AC Milan, Olympiacos and Man City will compete in Group A, while Real Madrid, ManU, AS Roma and Inter Milan will play in Group B. The winners of both groups will face each other in the final at Miami's Sun Life Stadium on Aug. 4. The tournament, which will take place in 12 cities across the U.S, will be broadcast internationally in more than 150 countries. Tickets for the event will go on sale Saturday at 10am EST.

2014 Int'l Champions Cup Schedule For Group A
July 26
University of Phoenix Stadium,
Phoenix, Arizona
Real Madrid vs. Inter Milan
July 26
Sports Authority Field at Mile High,
Denver, Colorado
ManU vs. AS Roma
July 29
FedEx Field,
Washington, D.C.
ManU vs. Inter Milan
July 29
Cotton Bowl,
Dallas Texas
Real Madrid vs. AS Roma
Aug. 2
Lincoln Financial Field,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Inter Milan vs. AS Roma
Aug. 2
University of Michigan Stadium,
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Real Madrid vs. ManU

2014 Int'l Champions Cup Schedule For Group B
July 24
Citi Field,
New York, N.Y.
Olympiacos vs. AC Milan
July 27
Heinz Field,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
AC Milan vs. Man City
July 27
Soldier Field
Chicago, Illinois
Liverpool vs. Olympiacos
July 30
Yankee Stadium,
New York, N.Y.
Man City vs. Liverpool
Aug. 2
TCF Bank Stadium,
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Olympiacos vs. Man City
Aug. 2
Bank of America Stadium,
Charlotte, North Carolina
AC Milan vs. Liverpool

Note: In the U.S., all games will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2.

ManU faces "a backlash from season-ticket holders," who have learned that they will be charged Champions League prices for Europa League seats next season, in the event of the club slipping into the competition, according to Ian Herbert of the London INDEPENDENT. Fans "had hoped that Europa League games would be excluded from season-ticket prices" for '14-15, as they were when the club was eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage two years ago and faced Ajax and Athletic Bilbao. However, tickets for the lesser European competition will be included in the controversial “automatic cup scheme,” which also forces season-ticket holders to buy a seat for FA Cup matches and is one of the most resented features of the commercial regime under the ownership of the Glazer family. The decision to charge fans up to £50 ($83) for the "dubious privilege" of watching ManU play the lesser lights of European football next autumn "has the potential to persuade many supporters not to renew their season tickets" (INDEPENDENT, 2/20). The MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS reported ManU insists that "they have not decided on a ticket pricing structure for next season's Europa League while Champions League qualification remains possible." But the club has "admitted that games in either European competition will remain part of the automatic cup scheme for season ticket holders" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 2/20).

Brazil has outlined plans to spend 1.9B reais ($790M) to "guarantee fans' safety during this year's World Cup," according to XINHUA. The outlay includes "security plans involving military, civil and federal police, the army, the national security force, federal highway police and selected government departments." Brazil President Dilma Rousseff said, "Brazil is ready to guarantee the safety of its citizens and visitors. Actions involve the installation of integrated command and control centers in all host cities, strengthening the infrastructure of the entry points in the country, the development of systems and equipment to enhance road safety, systems to centralize security operations and solutions to integrate radio communication between state and municipal institutions and federal agencies. ... Armed forces are already training for the event in association with police and other enforcement authorities at local, state and federal level." The pledge comes as "often-violent anti-government protests that began during last June's Confederations Cup continue in several Brazilian cities" (XINHUA, 2/20).

More than a third of tickets to see Serie A side Juventus take on the A-League All-Stars have been sold ahead of their release to the general public on Thursday -- "and football chiefs have contingency plans in place to make it a Festival of [Alessandro] Del Piero if it turns out to be the Sydney FC marquee star’s final game." Some 30,000 tickets had been sold by Thursday for the game at ANZ Stadium on Aug. 10, "in which Del Piero will captain the home side against the Serie A giants where he was a hero for 19 seasons" (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 2/20). ... Iran "has been chosen to host the 2014 FILA Greco-Roman World Cup." The event was originally scheduled for Feb. 15 and 16 in Tyumen, Russia, "but it was postponed since it coincided with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi" (TEHRAN TIMES, 2/19). ... United Commercial Bank Ltd. "was named the official ticketing partner" of the 12th Asia Cup and the match tickets of the event will be available at selected booths of the bank beginning on Saturday (DHAKA TRIBUNE, 2/17). ... A consortium "of cashed-up businessmen is reportedly sounding out the prospect of a rugby league Nines tournament" in the UAE. Millionaire Marwan Koukash, owner of English Super League club Salford, is "said to be spearheading the group eager to expand the nine-a-side game following the success of last weekend's event in Auckland" (FAIRFAX NZ NEWS, 2/20).