CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- This summer, Charlotte will host two of the world's best soccer teams in what will most likely be the biggest soccer match in the city's history.
The Guinness International Champions Cup chose Charlotte, along with 11 other American cities, as host sites for tournament games. Cup games will start July 26 and finish with a championship game August 4 in Miami. The tournament comes after the end of the World Cup, but before the start of the English Premier League season. Eight teams, including Real Madrid CF, AC Milan, Manchester United and Olympiacos will take part, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Aguero, Francesco Totti and some of the world's best soccer players.
Liverpool FC and AC Milan will play in Charlotte at 6 p.m. on August 2 at Bank of America Stadium.
Tickets to the Charlotte game will be available February 25 at 10 a.m.
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority Director of Communication, Laura Hill, says her organization has been working to land a major soccer game in Charlotte.
The CRVA says the game at Bank of America Stadium would be rent-free. As part of the deal that sent $85.7 million in city money to the Carolina Panthers for Bank of America Stadium renovations and other expenses, the City of Charlotte gets to use the stadium, rent-free, five days a year. The tournament matchup would be the first rent-free event.
Charlotte has hosted several major soccer games in the past.
A matchup in 2010 between Mexico and Iceland drew more than 63,000 fans to Bank of America Stadium, and more than 46,000 fans came out to watch a Gold Cup match between Costa Rica and El Salvador in 2011.