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?