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NEW ARROWHEAD TO HOST MANCHESTER UNITED ON SUNDAY, JULY 25TH VS. KC WIZARDS

Posted May 6, 2010

Tickets for the first-ever appearance at Arrowhead by Manchester United vs. the Kansas City Wizards go on sale to the general public at 10:00 AM on May 15th

The New Arrowhead will host its first event leading up to its grand opening in September on Sunday, July 25th as Manchester United faces the Kansas City Wizards in one of the most prestigious international soccer matches ever staged in Kansas City. Unquestionably the number one sports franchise in the world based on brand popularity, Manchester United boasts devoted fans across the globe with branches of their official fan club recognized in 24 different countries. The match is scheduled to begin at the New Arrowhead at 5:00 PM

Tickets for the first-ever appearance at Arrowhead by Manchester United vs. the Kansas City Wizards go on sale to the general public at 10:00 AM on May 15th. Tickets, which range from $30 - $200, can be purchased via ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any participating Ticketmaster outlet or through the Chiefs/Wizards box offices. Chiefs and Wizards season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase seats, as tickets will be made available for purchase to those members immediately.

“We are very excited to welcome Manchester United as the first event in the build up to the grand opening of the New Arrowhead,” Chiefs Chairman Clark Hunt said. “Manchester United is one of the most popular brands in all of sports, and we’re thrilled to have them make their inaugural appearance in Kansas City in the New Arrowhead this July.”

Wizards President and OnGoal CEO Robb Heineman echoed Hunt’s sentiments.

“This will be one of the biggest sporting events the Midwest has ever seen, and it's a great opportunity for Kansas City to show that we deserve to be one of the host cities for the World Cup,” Heineman said. “When OnGoal purchased the Wizards we anticipated bringing high-profile teams like Manchester United to Kansas City, and with our new stadium opening in 2011, our fans can expect more games of this caliber in the future. We are incredibly excited to be able to partner with the Hunt family to bring this massive event to our city.”

This international match between Manchester United and the Wizards is also expected to enhance Kansas City’s opportunity to host FIFA World Cup™ games.

“This is one of the biggest events to ever come to Kansas City because Manchester United is one of the top sports franchises in the world,” said Kevin M. Gray, President of the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation.“We have been so fortunate to host major events over the years and frankly, I cannot think of another contest that has the kind of international exposure as this match will have, which should bolster our chances to be a World Cup city.”

The New Arrowhead and Kansas City are one of the 18 American venues selected to host FIFA World Cup™ games as part of the USA Bid Committee’s quest to bring the greatest international sporting event in the world to the United States in 2018 or 2022. An official announcement on the host nation for the FIFA World Cup™ will be made in December of this year.

Thanks to the citizens of Jackson County, Missouri, who approved the measure that helped finance the $375 million renovation of Arrowhead, Kansas City can proudly host world-class events such as this international soccer contest. This meeting between Manchester United and the Kansas City Wizards is expected to shatter all previous soccer attendance records at Arrowhead.

The July 25th match at the New Arrowhead is part of Manchester United’s first tour of North America since 2004. Founded in 1878 as the Newton Health L&YR F.C., the club officially changed its name to Manchester United in 1902.

Arrowhead has served as a venue for numerous international soccer contests over the years, as well as other prestigious professional and amateur soccer games. In 2004, the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team faced Mexico at Arrowhead. That same year, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship Game was also played at “The Home of the Chiefs.” In 2001, a World Cup Qualifying Match between the U.S.A. and Costa Rica was played at Arrowhead, as well.

The July 25th match between Manchester United and the Wizards will serve as a precursor to the inaugural NFL game at the New Arrowhead on August 27th as the Chiefs host the Philadelphia Eagles. Kansas City also has a home preseason date vs. the Green Bay Packers on September 2nd. The Chiefs will officially celebrate the grand opening of the New Arrowhead with a national primetime TV audience at 9:15 PM (Central) on September 13th as Kansas City hosts San Diego on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

The late Lamar Hunt was a true soccer pioneer and is enshrined in the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. One of the key figures behind the formation of the North American Soccer League (NASL), Hunt was one of the leading initial investors in the United Soccer Association in ’67, which featured international clubs playing in the United States. For his efforts in building the sport of soccer in the United States in the modern era, Hunt was inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in ’82. In honor of the magnitude of his contributions to the game of soccer, the U.S. Open Cup was also officially renamed in his honor in ’99.

The previous record high for attendance at a soccer match in Kansas City took place in 2001. There were 37,319 people in attendance at Arrowhead Stadium to see the United States Men’s National Team defeat Costa Rica 1-0 off a goal from current Wizards forward Josh Wolff in a crucial qualifier for the 2002 FIFA World Cup™. The United States Women’s National team has also enjoyed large crowds in Kansas City, playing in front of 36,405 fans in a friendly match against Finland in October of ’99.

The Kansas City Wizards are currently celebrating their 15th season in Major League Soccer (MLS) and the fourth full season under the innovative vision of Kansas City-based ownership group OnGoal. Founded in ’99 as one of the charter members of MLS, Kansas City has since gone on to win each of the United States’ major domestic trophies (The 2000 MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield and the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup). Founded and owned by Lamar Hunt, the team was purchased by OnGoal, LLC, a locally-owned group of investors, in 2006. OnGoal possesses the drive to spearhead new ideas and make the Wizards the premier organization in MLS through an entrepreneurial spirit and first-class customer service. The Wizards continue to strive for excellence on and off the field and pride themselves on their ability to touch lives in the Midwest and make Kansas City a better place to live through philanthropic efforts.

Manchester United Football Club is one of the most successful clubs in soccer history. The team has won a total of 50 major English trophies, including 18 league titles (tied for most all-time), 11 FA Cups (most all-time), four League Cups and 17 Community Shields (most all-time). The team has been especially dominant since the advent of the Premier League in ’92. Manchester United has won 11 of the 17 available Premier League titles in that span, including the last three starting in 2007. United will have a chance to capture their record 19th Premier League crown, and an unprecedented fourth consecutive title this weekend, as they currently sit one point behind league leaders Chelsea heading into the final match day of the 2009-2010 season.

The club has also been a force at the international level, having won three European championships with the ’68 European Cup and the ’99 and 2008 UEFA Champions Leagues. United is the only British team to have won a world cup competition, having done so twice. United defeated Brazilian club Palmeiras to bring home the Intercontinental Cup in ’99 and defeated Ecuadorian team LDU Quito to win the FIFA Club World Cup in 2008. United is also known for being the first European club to accomplish the “treble” in ’99 by winning their domestic league, domestic cup and European championship all in the same season.

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