chelsea is playing manchester city in st. louis next week. st louis....at busch stadium. i thought we were going to get intersting events in tcf or target field. i was expecting more than two kenny chesney concerts. yes U2 at the bank was awesome but why can't we host a match between two soccer powers?
we're a bigger market than kansas city or st. louis but they consistently attract more big events to their stadiums.
i love the english premier league...hoping someday the people who run our publically funded stadiums think outside the box.
The St. Louis game surprised me too, but my understanding is that St. Louis has been working on this for several years, seemingly since their failed bid to get an MLS franchise around 2008. Apparently is was a pretty big success, too, with a 40,000-plus sellout. Although I guess that's not too surprising, considering St. Louis had never held a soccer game like this and they got two of the biggest teams in the world.
European teams have been doing these U.S. tours for somewhere around a decade now, and to some extent, these tours are losing some of their novelty. Teams keep going back to the same places (Miami, Washington, New York, etc.), or else they are watering down unique games; once Real Madrid and AC Milan play once to a non-sellout crowd it's not really the same anymore. So hopefully the St. Louis success will make teams consider more secondary markets who are to this point untapped.
I'd be really curious to see how the Twin Cities would react to one of these games. I want to be optimistic, but for some reason we feel this market is really stuck in an old-world sports attitude. The Star Tribune has actually made a good effort to give space to Minnesota United, which says something since they are a minor league soccer team. But when you think of the influence-makers in our sports media there's a distinctive 1990s attitude toward soccer. I get the impression that the Twins generally have this attitude too, which explains why the only unique events there have been Kenny Chesney concerts.
On a non-soccer related note, I read that the River's Edge Music Festival last year on Harriet Island ended up drawing well from the Twin Cities but that it hardly had a regional presence, which is why they cancelled it this year. I wonder if that is common among big events like this those stadium concerts?