By all accounts, Chelsea’s tour of the United States thus far has been a rousing success both on and off the field.
After playing in front of 65,289 fans on Saturday against Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field, Chelsea played in front of another massive crowd Tuesday night at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl. The attendance was 81,224. This Friday, Chelsea plays AC Milan at Baltimore’s M&T Stadium, and all 70,000 tickets have already been sold.
Chelsea’s final game of their US summer tour is against Club America this Sunday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. If Chelsea can draw a massive crowd against the Mexican club side (tickets are still available), then this summer’s tour for Chelsea has to go down as their most successful U.S. tour ever.
Not only will the large attendances raise eyeballs across the Atlantic among the English media, but Chelsea’s successful tour is bound to make the executives at the Premier League continue to think long and hard about finding a way to make the concept of the 39th game work.
The success of Chelsea’s tour will presumably open the eyes of other major Premier League clubs to consider coming to the United States for future tours.
For example, Manchester United came within 36 hours of having their players dangerously hurt when their hotel was bombed in Jakarta, Indonesia. United were able to schedule another friendly in Malaysia to compensate for missing the game in Indonesia, but safety must be a major concern for Manchester United when traveling in Asia. And the safety and security of the United States may be a huge plus in the future when clubs debate where they should travel.
There’s no doubt that the 39th Game would be a fantastic success for the Premier League and its clubs around the world with packed stadiums and enthusiastic crowds. Sure, clubs such as Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham City, Burnley and others wouldn’t be able to generate the ticket sales that Chelsea would but pairing them up against clubs that are more popular worldwide would be a smart move.
Judging by the success of Chelsea’s US tour, who’s ready for the 39th Game now? Click the comments link below and share your opinion.