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Arsenal Will Tour United States In Future: Could It Be Summer 2011?

usa arsenal Arsenal Will Tour United States In Future: Could It Be Summer 2011?

Arsenal today announced that the club will be touring the United States for a preseason tour in the future. Whether it’ll be this summer or a future summer, we’ll have to wait and see.

“The question is when, not if [Arsenal will tour the United States on a preseason tour],” said Arsenal Chief Commercial Officer Tom Fox. “The United States is important to us if we’re going to find those new fans and engage them in the Club. We want to expose this Club to as many fans of sport and football as we can around the world. One terrific way to do that is to take the team and to show that team live and in person.”

Rumors and press speculation of an Arsenal tour to the United States this summer have been rife for several months now. Nothing official has been announced but the above admission by Fox is the closest evidence that Arsenal will be touring the States in the near future. The timing of Fox announcing a future tour could indicate that Arsenal will officially announce a tour in the coming weeks, but that’s pure speculation.

A tour of the United States for Arsenal would be a massive success both financially (Barcelona’s 12-day tour of the United States in 2009 netted the Spanish club $8.5m) as well as building its fan base. Arsenal is one of the most beloved teams in the United States despite the fact that the Gunners haven’t played a match in America since 1989 when they defeated Independiente of Argentina in Miami, Florida (a game that I witnessed; see video highlights).

During the last decade, the United States has been a frequent destination for preseason tours featuring Premier League clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Fulham, Manchester City, West Ham United, Aston Villa and others.

Looking ahead to this summer, we know that Manchester United, Barcelona and AC Milan will be touring the States, while more clubs visiting America this summer are expected to be announced within the next few months.

When Arsenal do decide to tour the United States, which cities should they visit? Share your opinion in the comments section below. Plus, which European clubs would you like to see touring the States this summer?

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

70 Responses to Arsenal Will Tour United States In Future: Could It Be Summer 2011?

  1. Feehily says:

    I think it’s about time The Arsenal visited the US. There are a surprising number of very passionate fans here, even down here in Louisiana!!
    Plus with Stan “the man” Kroenke being such a large share holder it makes sense that he’s like to see Arsenal Stateside for some bank!

    I for one would love to see Arsenal come to New Orleans, sure we don’t have a Football stadium to accommodate them but we’ll convert the superdome for a week!

  2. ruffneckc says:

    NYC!!! Plat at RedBull Arena! :)

  3. Nick says:

    As a fellow southeast-Louisianian, I second that, Feehily! I seem to remember Pan American Stadium in city park hosting an international friendly shortly before Katrina.

    If this tour would to happen, I’d expect Colorado to be a definite since the Rapids are a partner club.

    • Colin says:

      Whoa! Make that THREE Gooners in southeast Louisiana in one comments section on epltalk. Arsenal in Tiger Stadium would be epic if people showed.

  4. ArseChicago says:

    Chicago. Soldier Field against a club like Chivas.

  5. Robert Hay says:

    Aresenal v. Spurs in Washington so I can (a) root for my Gunners and (b) have the pleasure of rooting against Spurs. Win-win for me.

  6. Fardowsa ali says:

    It would be amazing and it is about time that arsenal visited USA and increased iits fan base. Will be looking forward when they come over.

  7. Sean says:

    Boston!!!

  8. Jon says:

    One would imagine that they will try to play in a way that maximizes a) the commercial value of the tour; and b) exposes the greatest number of fans to the Club (since they expressed the desire to grow the fan base).

    In order to be commercially viable, I will guess that they will travel to places with large populations, established soccer teams, and already existing facilities that can accomodate the Club. Keep in mind Wenger’s meticulous nature regarding conditions – he basically had the pitch at the Emirates sculpted blade by blade. I can’t see him sending his lads to play on some mud encrusted potholed college gridiron field (of course, some US college fields are as immaculate as the Emirates). They only counterbalancing factor is that travel can be quite wearing and the US is quite a large country, so there may be an impulse to reduce the travel by staying in one region. Though I doubt it. With that said, my guess is:

    1) New York. Red Bulls have a good field and facility base. Largest market in the United States, wealthiest market in the United States, and with only 5 hours and 4000 miles distance, a real possibility of attracting reasonable numbers of travelling fans.

    2) Los Angeles. Galaxy have reasonable facilities and fan base. Second largest market in the United States and very close to the Latin American fan bases in California that are football mad. I expect Vela would play a role here if he is still with the Club then.

    3) Colorado. Not a huge market, but they have an existing sister-club relationship with the Rapids. Pretty obvious one for Kroenke – double commercial value.

    Other possibilities would be Atlanta, Chicago, and maybe even Seattle. I would also like to see a trip to Toronto to BMO field, which just hosted the MLS Cup and has real grass. It would be good for supporters in Canada and Toronto is a large market. Miami is another possibility, though good soccer facilities might be an issue there.

    Those are my thoughts.

    Cheers,

    Jon

    • BobbyB says:

      I think Seattle is a long, long shot for Arsenal. No way Wenger lets his team play on the FieldTurf and the temporary grass Qwest has used in in the past has been horrible.

  9. Earl Reed says:

    It’s unfortunately that the Premier League hasn’t tried to reach across in a similar fashion that the NFL has to Europe. What if the EPL were to schedule one or two regular season matches in this country? I think the one disappointment about the “summer tours” is that it’s a far cry from competitive football. 12 subs, no stoppage time, rather paltry defensive displays since nobody wants to get hurt. Why not have a “real” league match? Heck, do like the NFL and send a team that has poorer home attendance numbers over to play against a big name. Blackpool v Manchester United. Brum v. Chelsea.

    Other pro sports have done this, made concessions of their teams’ home field/court/ice advantage in order to broaden the appeal overseas. And America would be an excellent, largely untapped market to seduce with meaningful football.

      • Earl Reed says:

        Doesn’t even need to be a 39th game. Every major American sport has sent teams overseas to play a _regular season_ game, not adding to the “fixture list” as it would be called. I realize travel to the United States isn’t trivial, but coupled with some short tours ahead of the match, it could be easily accommodated, and suffice it to say would be well attended.

        • Dave C says:

          Uh yeah this was discussed to death last year. If it’s an additional game, it will screw up the whole point of a round-robin league (everyone plays everyone else once at home and once away). If it’s not an additional game, then it still screws up the whole point of a round-robin league – imagine you’re in a tight relegation fight, or scrapping out for a Champions league spot, or the league title itself, and you have to forego home advantage against your nearest rival in order to play the game in Colorado or something. Horrible idea.

    • 3feetoffun says:

      If the sabres can play in Europe next year then EPL could get a match here

    • Mliakuvana says:

      “Like”

  10. Neil says:

    Being a Gooner for some 40 years now and an expat for nearly 20 I would love to see them tour the US. Especially in the SouthEast as I reside in Charlotte NC. Atlanta would work but I guess wherever they end up is where I will be taking my summer vacation.

    • Mike says:

      “…but I guess wherever they end up is where I will be taking my summer vacation.”

      Right. So long as it’s in one of the 48, count me in.

  11. Martin says:

    Chicago @ Soldier Field!

  12. Jose says:

    Cowboys Stadium in Dallas against America or Chivas. Guaranteed stadium filler.

  13. ctwovaat says:

    Connecticut! ;) .. why it might even look familiar to them .. like emirates after a snow storm :D

    www. ShakeIn .com

  14. David says:

    Y’all seem to be missing the point. It doesn’t matter where in the United States your favorite team plays. If you are a fan, you will travel to see your team in person. It’s economically much more feasible than travelling all the way to England or Europe. But if you live in Boston, and the game is in Florida, take a vacation. Do what you have to do to be there. I flew my family to Baltimore from Dallas for the Manchester City-Inter Milan game to watch my beloved Citizens. Best trip of my life, and I look forward to the day that I can do it again.

    • David, not every supporter has the means to travel anywhere in the U.S. to see their club play. I’ve been an Arsenal supporter since the late ’90s and would love for them to come play RBNY in the summer.

      Knowing Arsene, it would likely be something short in early July right after the players come back. My guess would be two matches on the East Coast, with NYC and Philadelphia making the most sense.

      Arsene has avoided American tours in the past because he feels the traveling would disrupt the side’s pre-season training, but United and Chelsea have both done pre-season tours before seasons in which they won the title. Now, the arrivals of Kroenke, Gazidis, and Fox have made an American tour an inevitability.

      I only hope they come to NYC so I can see my club live and in-person for the first time in my 12 years as a supporter.

  15. Tim says:

    Colorado is a shoe in because of the connection. I would presume New York, Philadelphia, LA, Chicago and Texas would be heavily considered also.

  16. Norfolk Enchants says:

    At Fenway Park vs. Liverpool!

    Can’t wait!

  17. nicc says:

    would prefer DC/Baltimore area for convenience, but as others above have said…
    I WILL TRAVEL!

  18. Kevin says:

    St. Louis – another Kroenke connection, where he owns his other football team.

  19. R2Dad says:

    Would like to see the following schedule, which would ensure sellouts:
    Dallas v. America or Chivas – Cowboy Stadium
    LA v USMNT or Flamengo- Home Depot Carson
    SF v Mexico MNT or Villereal- Pac Bell Park or Oakland Coliseum (or at the ‘Stick but NOT at night)

    • Bucky says:

      No way it is at the HDC, way too small. They will use the Rose Bowl or the Colly

      • R2Dad says:

        Yeah, but as a fan I’d love to see a packed house there–much more intimate than the vast Rose Bowl.

      • bucky says:

        All of the preseason friendlies in LA have been played at those two venues not the HDC. Trust me, they can pack a 100k in the Colly and it will look like the place to be. Been there during football matches (Barca, etc), full, loud exciting

    • Dave C says:

      Also, do EPL teams ever play national teams in pre-season friendlies? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that. I might be wrong though.

  20. Bucky says:

    No worries, I know they will have to come to LA. Arsene must not be too excited about this prospect. He already makes millions of dollars for the club off of game day receipts and the selling of players. He really loves taking his players away from distractions which is why they do the Austria training and then they go home for the Emirates Cup.

    I dont see how they could pull of this tour and the Emirates Cup. Unless Wenger is going to skip his usual

  21. Efrain says:

    Gillette stadium in Foxboro, MA would be nice since I am in Mass…. but Id be willing to travel to New York or somewhere along the east coast. Hope they keep it to the east coast! Someone suggested Fenway against Liverpool…. now that would be awesome!

  22. vermaelen5 says:

    Yes!

  23. Sue says:

    About time they made it to Toronto.

    All this flying home lark is getting a bit expensive still my family keep my season ticket warm for me lol

  24. GunnerDawg says:

    It depends on how many games they will play in the states. I think NYC, Col and LA are locks. If they play anymore than that then i think ATL, DC/Balt, Dallas would be the other options. I doesnt matter who Arsenal plays, the games will be sold out.

  25. GunnerJaw says:

    Not exacty the states, but still part of the MLS: TORONTO!!!! Pls come haven’t ever seen the club in person, and ljungberg said that toronto fans were great!! I would love to see them I’m begging them!!

  26. Prem says:

    Tampa / anywhere in Florida..

  27. Brandon says:

    YES please come to Atlanta. There are a ton of Arsenal fans in America.

  28. eddie torres says:

    Depending on how much Nike pays for the logo to be on the kits, I could see Phil Knight using the power of the swoosh to bring an exhibition to Portland.

    Anyone know how much Nike is invested in the Timbers, if at all?

  29. dlink09 says:

    well finally i can see the team i have been following for years.. Arsene please get you butt across the pond :)

  30. Threesticks says:

    Miami is a no brainer unless I’m not living then in which case DFW for sure

  31. Threesticks says:

    Unless I’m not living there in Miami (is what I meant. Nothing relating my demise)

  32. Carol Irvin says:

    as a Texas gooner, I think this is the perfect time to come to San Antonio.
    We are building a professional team, sponsored by Star Soccer and Morgan’s Wonderland park for the handicapped.. Arsenal coming here would be so special for all the footy fans as we are known as Military city
    and what better place to fill the seats with your fans you are following you every year. We have no baseball or football teams to take away from
    your fan base and fees and just the San Antonio Spurs who do not play in the summer…we have the Alamo Dome which could be used if its too hot
    which would be filled to the brim I am sure…

  33. Jean-Christian says:

    Columbus. The home of recent champions, not too far west, and a solid local Arsenal fanbase.

    … and, uh, me. Which clearly trumps those other reasons.

  34. Mliakuvana says:

    Denver, since they have an affiliation of some sort with the Colorado Rapids.
    Dallas, since one of Arsenal’s greats, Steve Morrow, coached there for some time. Plus the Pizza Hut Field (home of FC Dallas, formerly Dallas Burn) up in Frisco (If I am not forgetting) is a wonderful pitch to play on and spectate from.

  35. Mliakuvana says:

    Actually, Steve Morrow played and later coached FC Dallas.
    The Pizza Hut Field in Frisco is a soccer specific pitch with the sidelines a couple of yards from the seats – kinda reminds you of the old stomping ground, Highbury. It is not one of those huge cavernous facilities specific for gridiron American football. If capacity is a problem then they can just move down 75N Central Expressway and play at the historic Cotton Bowl, Dallas Burn’s former home ground in south east Dallas.

  36. Arsenal – Manure in Miami! We have a huge football (soccer) base here, and this game would draw from the rest of the US (and probably even South and Central America and Europe). I relish the thought of beating United once again, after claiming the EPL championship, and more….
    After reading the comments, I find that I trump the rest of you in my longevity of Gunner-love. I’ve supported the Gunners since 1950, starting from the successful FA Cup run culminating in our beating Liverpool at Wembley. I was an Arsenal fan before “gooner” became popular .

  37. Idy Etuk says:

    COLORADO ! And the reasons are too numerous to list here but I will try and summarize them to fit in here:
    a) Stan Kroenke – a Colorado native – owns about 29% of Arsenal’s shares and his USA team (the Colorado Rapids) is a sister team to Arsenal.
    b) The Dicks Sporting Goods Park (stadium) is as smooth as the Emirates Stadium and has about 16 practice fields around it that Arsenal assistant coaches could host soccer clinics / workshops for young kids in the neighborhood.
    c) Denver International Airport is a central hub for most airlines so there are cheap flights to Denver for fans to fly in plus the direct British Airways flight from Denver to Heathrow for the team to fly on.
    d) Then there’s my humble self – a crazy Arsenal fan that has painted his car RED with the GUNNER’s LOGO on the hood driving around town like a billboard… (the last claim (d) is false but I have considered it :)

  38. Idy Etuk says:

    ….i forgot to add this important reason in my previous posting:
    e) The best orthopedic (knee) doctor/ surgeon in the world (who has treated the likes of Wayne Rooney etc) is here in Vail Colorado, so the injured players can get rehab during their visit while the rest of the players knock the ball around

  39. Albert says:

    San Francisco for sure. Not only is there a rabid Arsenal fanbase, there’s also just a large soccer culture in general. Watching the World Cup near the Haight was complete madness… most bars were turning people away. Real Madrid has been here several times, as well as Inter and Chelsea, and as far as I’m aware, most of those matches sold out. You could host it at Candlestick or Stanford Stadium and play against a strong Mexican side like America, Chivas, or Cruz Azul, which would guarantee you a large Latino expat fanbase as well.

  40. John says:

    Kansas City! The new stadium opens June 9, and I will gladly drive three hours to see them!

  41. Goonster says:

    I’d sure love to see them get as close as possible to PHX. Univ of PHX stadium is real grass and indoors. Huge Latino pop and we know how to host big events (Super Bowls and BCS Championships). The heat would be a deterrent though.

  42. chris says:

    Arizona /San Diego/Los Angeles would be great specially arizona since they have the cardinals stadium to accomodate with really good pitch and soccer games usually sell out @ 65,000 capacity Ive seen a few international games played there and couple club friendlies.

    mon the goonersssss!!!

  43. Tony says:

    Doesn’t matter to me as long as they play one in the midwest, northeast or south……. I am there along with many others in the Gunner-Nation……..

  44. Eric says:

    Baltimore – M&T Bank Stadium! Always a great atmosphere. Went to watch Chelsea and AC Milan and it was crazy

  45. Amy says:

    PHILADELPHIA!

  46. emmaneul says:

    come to chicago

  47. It would make so much sense for Arsensal to tour the U.S. Arsenal is known for being savvy with their money by not buying expensive players. They would be wise to take advantage of the approximate $10 million in revenue (for roughly a week long vacation), like many other big clubs are doing. The likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Barcelona (all three rank in the top 10 of teams with the highest average salary in the world) have been doing it the past few years, and they have made many more Americans aware of their brands. Touring the U.S. would raise Arsenal’s global popularity, and help them compete with the “big spenders” in the sports world.

  48. plz would love my team to tour Atilanta geoger.

  49. HersheyPaGooner says:

    Don’t have the unlimited funds to travel like some of you… But My team in a scrimmage against an overwhelmed underdog… Yes I’m looking at you Theirry. Like RBNY or the Crew and I will be there put me down for 10 tickets because my friends need to see why I am crazy about my Arsenal. Anywhere close. Philly. NY. DC. Columbus. Boston. I will be there.

  50. Phil J. says:

    I’d love to see Arsenal play in Tampa. One, because I live here and it would be great to see the Gunners in my home town and Two, because the Glazers who own Man U. live here and it would be great to see Arsenal thumb their noses at them!!

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