On the second of August, University of Michigan’s Michigan Stadium will host the International Championship Cup, a huge soccer event featuring two of the world’s most notable teams. For the event, Manchester United will square off against Real Madrid. According to an article recently completed by M Live Michigan, over one hundred thousand people are expected to attend the match. This figure would allow the event to set a new record for attendance of a soccer match within the United States.
The article also announced a downtown pregame celebration that will take place the evening before the match. The event will be held from three in the afternoon until eleven in the evening; fourteen musical acts will be featured. The event is modeled after a similar endeavor held by the town to honor the 2014 NHL Winter Classic, which was held at the Michigan Stadium on the first of January. For this event, a similar pregame extravaganza was held and was considered very successful amongst those hosting.
Much speculation is brewing as to how the event will affect the Ann Arbor area financially. Many theories are developed based on the profits earned from the 2014 NHL Winter Classic, which brought ten to fifteen million dollars into Wastenaw County. Based on the success of this sporting event, retailers started preparing nearly a month in advance for the International Championship Cup. During the duration of the downtown pregame celebration, several retailers are offering special discounts and specials, in hopes of drawing in visitors. Scott Hirth, owner of various establishments of his University of Michigan apparel store The M Den, began stocking Manchester United and Real Madrid materials over a month ago. With the number of anticipated visitors estimated to be so high, Hirth—who would typically be experiencing a dry-spell in August, while awaiting the return of students for another semester—thought the endeavor was more than worth ending his summer prematurely.
Local retailers aren’t simply in it for the financial benefits either. Noah Goldsmith, owner of the town’s Wafel Shop, declares that he is a big soccer fan, and that the honor of having two such well-known teams in the Ann Arbor area is anything but lost on him.