Chelsea Expand Summer Tour To 4 U.S. Cities


Chelsea Football Club have expanded their preseason tour of the United States for the summer of 2009 to include friendlies in the following cities: Seattle, Pasadena, Baltimore and Arlington.

Chelsea kick off their tour on July 18 when they play Seattle. On July 21, the Blues will play Inter Milan at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena (the original destination was going to be San Francisco, but this has changed). Then on July 24, Chelsea play AC Milan in Baltimore. And, on July 26, Chelsea concludes their U.S. preseason tour with a game against Club America at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Chelsea’s matches against Inter Milan, AC Milan and Club America are part of the inaugural World Football Challenge tournament, which pits the four teams against each other in matches around the United States this summer.

For each match, supporters will be glad to know that there will be home and away ends for all teams, so if you want to get a seat in the Chelsea end, you can order those tickets online. Ticket prices are affordable, too. At least 50% of all tickets will be $35 or less.

We are delighted to be in the United States again for pre-season,” said Peter Kenyon, Chelsea FC chief executive.  “This is our fifth pre-season out of six that we have toured here and it is always a pleasure to see our fans and train and play in excellent facilities in great cities.  Chelsea, of course, will bring a full-strength first team squad and with the quality of the opposition, and the backing of our partners, this series of matches will be the best preparation and the most high profile we have played in America.”

All of the matches will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN 360. The TV schedule is as follows:

Sunday, July 19
Club America vs. FC Internazionale Milano at Stanford Stadium (Palo Alto, Calif.)
7 p.m. EST on ESPN2

Tuesday, July 21
Chelsea FC vs. FC Internazionale Milano at the Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)
11 p.m. EST on ESPN2

Wednesday, July 22
AC Milan vs. Club America at the Georgia Dome (Atlanta, Ga.)
7 p.m. EST on ESPN2

Friday, July 24
AC Milan vs. Chelsea FC at M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, Md.)
8 p.m. EST on ESPN

Sunday, July 26
AC Milan vs. FC Internazionale Milano at Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
5 p.m. EST on ESPN2

Sunday, July 26
Chelsea FC vs. Club America at Cowboy Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
7 p.m. EST on ESPN2

What’s most impressive about the TV schedule is that Chelsea against AC Milan will be shown in prime-time on a Friday night on ESPN, which definitely shows the strides that the sport has made in this country and the opportunity for huge TV ratings as well as the chance to win over new soccer fans in this country.

The tour is fantastic news for Premier League fans in the United States. The last time a tour of this size was organized was five years ago, in 2004, when Manchester United, Liverpool, Roma, AC Milan, Celtic and Chelsea played across the United States and one game in Canada.

This time it’ll be interesting to see how many seats are sold for the games. The new Dallas Cowboys stadium will open in June with a capacity of 80,000. The Rose Bowl, site of the 1994 World Cup final, has a capacity of 92,000, while the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore can hold 71,000 people. Qwest Field in Seattle, meanwhile, has 67,000 seats. The opportunity for Chelsea and organizer CAA Sports to make this tour very lucrative is immense.

Two areas of concern for football traditionalists and Chelsea fans will be (1) how many of the above stadiums will feature artificial turf when Chelsea play, and (2) whether Chelsea are over extending themselves. They were originally scheduled to participate in the 2009 Barclays Asia Cup Trophy in late July in China.

For the latest schedule of preseason friendlies for all 20 Premier League clubs, visit EPL Talk’s preseason friendlies page which is updated as soon as fixtures are announced.

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  1. W March 25, 2009
  2. ChelseaFan123 April 11, 2009
  3. chia June 9, 2009
  4. tram July 21, 2009
  5. endang July 26, 2009
  6. Rendy n Rachman July 27, 2009
  7. NanookieNYC April 25, 2010
  8. The Gaffer April 25, 2010
  9. Edwin July 22, 2010

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