The year 2023 saw yet another spin on the American summer soccer friendly, as the Soccer Champions Tour debuted. The event featured six clubs playing at eight venues in six markets across the country. Some massive clubs took part, but did the fans turn out? Here’s a look at the attendance for the Soccer Champions Tour.

Bringing out the big guns

Unlike the Premier League Summer Series, which ran concurrently and only featured one “big” team, the Soccer Champions Tour pulled out all the stops by featuring six huge names from the top European leagues.

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid from LaLiga, Manchester United and Arsenal from the Premier League, and AC Milan and Juventus from Serie A were the participants. Indeed, that’s a stellar lineup.

Games were scheduled for the Los Angeles area, Santa Clara (near San Jose), Las Vegas, Arlington (Dallas), Houston and Orlando. Every match, save for one staged at the LA Galaxy’s Dignity Health Sports Park, was held in a 60,000+ capacity venue – and they needed the seats.

Unfortunately, illness made the rounds in the Barça camp, and the first game versus Juventus at the San Francisco 49ers Levis Stadium was cancelled. But the other seven games went on as planned and played to mostly huge crowds.

2023 Soccer Champions Tour attendance
7/22/23Barcelona vs JuventusLevis StadiumCANCELLED
7/23/23Real Madrid vs AC MilanRose Bowl70,814
7/26/23Arsenal vs BarcelonaSoFi Stadium70,223
7/26/23Real Madrid vs Man UnitedNRG Stadium67,801
7/27/23Juventus vs AC MilanDignity Health Sports Park18,746
7/29/23Barcelona vs Real MadridAT&T Stadium82,026
8/1/23AC Milan vs BarcelonaAllegiant Stadium38,986
8/2/23Juventus vs Real MadridCamping World Stadium63,503

The total average for the slate of games ended up at 58,871. That comes out ahead of the Premier League Summer Series, which pulled in 44,147 per match.

Of all the games, really, you could say only the Italian derby between Juventus and AC Milan in Carson disappointed. It filled only about 70% of the 27,000 seat MLS venue. Milan against Barcelona in Las Vegas was slightly on the low side as well, drawing only 38,986. But that’s only bad compared to the rest of the games.

Unsurprisingly, the El Clásico clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Dallas Cowboy’s colossal stadium topped them all, drawing just over 82,000 fans. It was the most-attended El Clasico in the United States, and a record soccer crowd at AT&T Stadium. Three of the games were effectively sellouts, packing big stadiums in Dallas, LA and Orlando.

If you weren’t convinced already, the 2023 Soccer Champions Tour leaves little doubt that the appetite for big-time soccer in the USA is immense.

Photo: Imago.