Despite the failed Miami Fusion — Miami’s previous experiment with Major League Soccer — and a bogus reputation for having the sports world’s worst fans, fútbol has never been bigger in Miami.
The inaugural Guinness International Champions Cup, a multicity, international-friendly tournament featuring some of Europe’s biggest clubs — Real Madrid, Juventus, and AC Milan, among others — will crown its victor at Sun Life Stadium (2269 NW 199th St., Miami Gardens) next week. But rather than showcasing only the top two teams in the competition, the complete field of eight will go to work over the course of two days beginning this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
“People in Miami love to see stars, and that’s what they’re getting with this event,’’ Charlie Stillitano, CEO of Relevant Sports, recently told the Miami Herald. “We’re getting lots of attention overseas too, from fans in England, Italy, Japan, and Real Madrid fans in South America. Most fans in South America will never be this close to seeing the top European teams.”
When Barcelona played a friendly at Sun Life in 2011, a record crowd of more than 70,000 watched as Mexican soccer club Chivas Guadalajara upset the Catalan giant, proving that South Florida is, in fact, soccer-friendly. Promoters anticipate similar crowds for the ICC.
Tickets cost $40.45 to $394.65 via ticketmaster.com. Victor Gonzalez
Tue., Aug. 6; Wed., Aug. 7, 2013