SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, March 21, 2017) – Rio Tinto Stadium and Real Salt Lake will host iconic and legendary international power Manchester United – winners of a record 20 top-flight titles in England (including 13 in the Premier League era) and three European championships – on Monday, July 17 (evening kickoff TBA), RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen announced today.
“Our fans have been incredibly supportive since our inception in 2005 and they deserve the opportunity to see some of the world’s best on our Rio Tinto Stadium field,” Hansen said, reiterating that the club’s Herriman Complex will provide a training destination for many of the world’s best going forward. “The Manchester United club is synonymous with the beautiful game around the globe, and to have them visit our great State to play against RSL is the culmination of an amazing effort consistent with our vision for Real Salt Lake.”
For the second consecutive Summer, Real Salt Lake faces a European side at the world-class Utah venue, with tickets initially available for purchase exclusively to RSL/Monarchs “Royalty” Season Ticket Members starting next Tuesday, March 28, at 10:00 a.m. MT. Tickets start at just $50, increasing in value depending on location and available hospitality packages, details of which will be revealed in coming days. (Pro-rated 15-game 2017 “Royalty” memberships remain on sale; please visit www.RSL.com/tickets/royalty or call 844.Real.Tix for more information).
Presented in part by the Utah Sports Commission, the Red Devils are making their first trip to Utah, joining a list of top-flight international clubs to visit the Beehive State to face RSL. Manchester United follows Real Madrid (Spain) in 2006 (Rice-Eccles Stadium), Everton (England) in 2007/09 and Internazionale Milano (Italy) in 2016 (Rio Tinto Stadium). RSL also boasts a long history of hosting regional CONCACAF powers Club América (Mexico) in 2008, Saprissa (Costa Rica) in 2011, Chivas de Guadalajara (Mexico) in 2008, as well as South American clubs Boca Juniors (Argentina) in 2007 and Universidad Católica (Chile) in 2005, among others.
“On behalf of the Utah Sports Commission, this is an exciting day for the great State of Utah, which we refer to as the ‘State of Sport,’” said Utah Sports Commission President & CEO Jeff Robbins, whose office has worked closely with RSL and others to attract high-profile events to the Beehive State. “Bringing the eyes of the world to focus on RSL and soccer in Utah via such a global brand as Manchester United testifies to the aspiration and vision that Dell Loy Hansen espouses for our community.”
Managed by Jose Mourinho, regarded as one of the most accomplished managers in world soccer, Manchester United features a star-studded lineup that includes this season’s major acquisitions – forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielder Paul Pogba – as well as club icons forward Wayne Rooney and midfielder Michael Carrick and other recognized internationals in goalkeeper David de Gea, midfielders Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini and defenders Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind.
Mourinho’s Manchester United men will play five games in five cities this Summer, facing Real Salt Lake prior to participation in the 2017 International Champions Cup presented by Heineken. In the ICC, Manchester United will play Manchester City (Thurs., July 20; location TBA), Real Madrid C.F. in Santa Clara, California (Sun., July 23) and FC Barcelona in Landover, Maryland (Wed., July 26) in the fifth year of the tourney, organized by Relevent Sports. In the Red Devils’ previous two visits to the United States, the club has welcomed more than half a million supporters to games across the country, where United has over eight million followers.
This year’s two-week tour forms part of the club’s preparations for the 2017/18 Premier League campaign, with the Red Devils’ long-standing relationship with the U.S. having seen the club make 14 previous visits to the country facing American and Mexican sides, as well as a host of clubs from across Europe. United first visited America in 1950 as part of a close-season tour, playing against local clubs.
Speaking of the summer plans, United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, said: “Visiting North America will give the team the best possible preparation for the new season, using top-class training facilities and playing in some great stadiums. We have witnessed first-hand the passion and support for the club in the US in recent years, so naturally it is something that everybody is very much looking forward to this summer.”