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Clubs discuss playing UEFA Champions League games in US

Champions League US

UEFA is reportedly interested in making some significant changes to the Champions League, including putting matches in the US.

The governing body of the sport in Europe is currently holding meetings ahead of the European Club Association gathering in Turkey later in the week. Essentially, the ECA represents the big clubs throughout the continent. These are teams that regularly compete in Champions League or Europa League competitions. Meetings are in place to figure out ways to grow interest in these tournaments. Consequently, that means producing more profits.

Reports suggest that one of these ideas is to play certain Champions League matches outside of the region. This would be an attempt to bring more meaningful games to fans around the world.  Normally, people outside of Europe could only see their favorite clubs play preseason friendlies.

One of the most influential people supporting this idea is PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. He not only chairs the ECA, but he is also on the UEFA executive committee. Although these propositions are still in their infancy, the plan is supposedly to bring these massive matches to new markets. Therefore, one of the potential Champions League match locations could be the US.

UEFA Champions League and more possibly in the US

Along with playing some Champions League games outside of Europe, UEFA eyes up something similar with the Super Cup. The annual match between the UEFA Champions League and Europa League winners is normally held in August of each year.

Introducing an entirely new tournament is also in the works as well. UEFA is pondering a mini tournament to include four clubs. One of these teams will be the reigning Champions League winner. Meanwhile, the other three clubs would seemingly just be chosen each year.  The “Opening Tournament” would be held at the beginning of the season.

Just four days ago, the ECA’s official Twitter account made references to the US and China markets. They claimed that these two regions are more affected by a successful soccer team compared to other areas. The ECA used this data to boost their plans to bring European club soccer overseas.

“This highlights that there are opportunities for European clubs and competitions to build on this interest and influence; to increase the availability of European club football to these audiences and allow exposure to these events to continue building further and deeper interest and engagement.”

PHOTO: IMAGO / Beautiful Sports

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. TheOriginalTom

    September 29, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    Me against.

  2. Daniel

    September 27, 2022 at 2:04 am

    I am an American and this is epically F-ING stupid. Keep the games in Europe.

  3. John

    September 26, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    As long as this doesn’t conflict with the promised Premier Leaugue North v South All-Star Game, sounds great

    While we’re at it, why keep playing so many regular season games in England, when there’s so much money to made in the US and China? In fact, now that we think about it, forget China because of the time difference… can we play all important games across all leagues in the US during prime time?

  4. Donald Lee

    September 21, 2022 at 9:45 am

    USSF needs to block this. This doesn’t help grow American soccer one bit. It will hurt efforts to grow MLS and Concacaf Champions League.

  5. Dermot

    September 21, 2022 at 7:29 am

    In most European leagues, these days there are no “run away” winners of League titles. It can come down to 1,2 or 3 points.
    So imagine the scenario where say City comes to the US to play a UCL match then flies home only to be beaten the following Saturday. If they then lose the League by 3 points, the US / UCL match will be blamed because “the lads were all jet lagged”
    The idea is as much a fantasy as is the Premier League playing a game or games in the US.

  6. jason

    September 20, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    MLS would want to become part of the competition if this happens.

    • cmasia

      September 21, 2022 at 12:00 am

      In what role?
      Waterboys?

    • soccertvblog

      September 22, 2022 at 5:07 am

      Actually, for the Super Cup competition, the idea being floated around UEFA (and reported by The Guardian) is that a MLS team WOULD be included. The 4 teams would be the 3 European Cup winners (Champions League, Europa League & Europa Conference League) plus current MLS champions. If the competition was held this year, in August, it would have included Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt, AS Roma and New York City.

      Personally, I am against UEFA Champions League matches being played in the US but could be convinced that this type of ‘Super Cup’ competition wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea.

  7. Mercator

    September 20, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Stupid idea. The Champions League is a UEFA event, why would you play it outside of UEFA and step on the toes of the other confederations? UEFA wants to capture other markets it really has no business in. If they want competitive games abroad then play teams abroad.

    I would be in favor of getting rid of all international games except World Cup and Confederation Cup (Euros, Copa, etc) and related qualifying. Scrap nations league nonsense entirely and use those breaks for an international version of the Champions League / Europa / Confederations Cup. ECA probably has no interest in this because it might actually help build up clubs outside of Europe and threaten the European club monopoly.

    • Roberto

      September 20, 2022 at 2:21 pm

      100% agree with Mercator!

    • dave

      September 20, 2022 at 2:51 pm

      In the US, UEFA Champions League is far more popular than CONCACAF Champions League. The most recent CCL finals averaged just over 1 million US viewers while the most recent UCL finals averaged just over 5 million US viewers
      .
      Scaling back Nations League for more intercontinental club play is intriguing. I am excited for expanded Leagues Cup. Taking a few successful CONCACAF club teams and giving them meaningful, competitive (not preseason friendlies) matches against top European club teams might be even more fun. Probably a non-starter with UEFA/ECA since they have little to gain and much to lose, but maybe there is enough money in it to tempt them

      • Mercator

        September 20, 2022 at 5:43 pm

        Yes but those are TV numbers, the game does not have to be played in America to get great ratings on US TV. There is no reason any confederation should be playing competitive club games outside of its geographic confederation, unless they are playing teams from another confederation. Take the quarterfinalist from UEFA CL, CONCACAF CL, AFC CL, CONEMBOL and AFCON CL (40 teams) and let them play an international version of champions league during the international breaks for nations league now. But like you said UEFA/ECA don’t want this because it would expand interest in non-UEFA club teams, instead of allowing UEFA club teams to monopolize interest in other confederations like moving games outside of Europe would do.

        I’m not interested in Nations League, it’s basically the MLS trying to grab Liga MX market share by playing Liga MX teams in the USA. It’s intended to attract Liga MX fans, not MLS fans, and the number will reflect that. Not much different than UEFA trying to grab MLS market share by playing UEFA CL games in the US. A big reason so many of these silly ideas are out there is because FIFA and the confederations haven’t provided any meaningful venue for cross-confederation club play. Instead they load the schedule with nonsense like Nations League and more repetitive CL group games, which are meaningless to most fans. If Real Madrid has to go and play La Galaxy or Zamalek…maybe Madrid fans won’t care but it would be huge for the fans in LA and Cairo and would give Madrid a chance to play (and almost certainly win) competitive games in these huge cities outside of Europe.

        • dave

          September 20, 2022 at 7:03 pm

          I assume you mean “Leagues Cup” in “I’m not interested in Nations League, it’s basically the MLS trying to grab Liga MX market share by playing Liga MX teams in the USA. It’s intended to attract Liga MX fans, not MLS fans, and the number will reflect that”. It is a sign of too many of these things that names blend together
          .
          I believe you are right that Leagues Cup is MLS and Liga MX capitalizing on each other. Liga MX is excellent at attracting TV viewers but poor at monetizing. MLS is weaker at attracting TV viewers but stronger at monetizing. Ideally, each can benefit from the complementary relative strength of their partner. We will see

  8. jason

    September 20, 2022 at 11:51 am

    I like this idea. Hope it happens. It would probably have to be restricted to the American Eastern Time zone region though.

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