Full schedule including Barcelona-Real Madrid in Dallas
FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will bring their famous rivalry to the United States for the second straight year in what has become a burgeoning, winning tradition.
you will play El Clasico, reportedly on July 29 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas as part of the second year of the Soccer Champions Tour.
It will of course be a preparatory game. The tour – which will also feature Manchester United, Arsenal, Juventus and AC Milan – is not a tournament like some of its predecessors. It’s essentially eight one-off games set in the middle of the Women’s World Cup and is being heralded by organizers as a “summer series” that will include California, Las Vegas, Texas and Florida.
But the headliner is the game of all games, perhaps the world’s most famous sports rivalry, at the grand stadium of grand stadiums, Jerry World, the 105,000-seat home of the Dallas Cowboys set to host the 2026 World Cup Finals.
El Clasico is coming to the US
When Barca and Madrid first brought their blood feud to the US in 2017, the concept was ridiculed by some purists; But the exhibition game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami was a resounding success. The Miami Clasico attracted 1.7 million viewers across ESPN platforms and a sold-out crowd willing to shell out hundreds of dollars a piece for tickets. The players really competed against each other. Barcelona’s 3-2 win delighted everyone involved.
It felt then like a turning point for the International Champions Cup, the pre-season event that grew to 18 teams and 27 games in nine countries at the end of the last decade. In early 2020, organizers were negotiating the inauguration of SoFi Stadium in Southern California with a second Clasico in the United States this summer.
But then came COVID-19. The ICC canceled its 2020 program, falling through during the pandemic and a legal battle ensuing between its parent company Relevent Sports and its mastermind, legendary football promoter Charlie Stillitano. The men’s ICC has not been played since.
Relevent still runs an ICC for women and other ventures. This summer it is working with the English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga on two separate North American tours. But in 2022, the Soccer Champions Tour rushed to Barca and Madrid, organizing a Clasico at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. (Barca won 1-0 in front of a boisterous, sold-out crowd.)
In its second year, the Soccer Champions Tour was expanded to include two clubs each from Spain, England and Italy. Sixth Street, a global investment firm that works with both Barca and Real Madrid, is the company behind it. AEG produces it. Legends is an important partner. And Stillitano was involved as an advisor, according to a source with knowledge of the tour’s development.
Tour schedules for the pre-season
The Soccer Champions Tour announced their full roster for 2023 on Friday:
Saturday, July 22: Barcelona vs. Juventus – Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
Sunday 23 July: Real Madrid vs AC Milan – Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Wednesday, July 26: Arsenal vs. Barcelona – SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
Wednesday 26 July: Real Madrid v Manchester United – NRG Stadium, Houston
Thursday, July 27: Juventus vs. AC Milan – Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California
Saturday, July 29: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Tuesday 1st August: AC Milan vs Barcelona – Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas
Wednesday 2 August: Juventus vs Real Madrid – Camping World Stadium, Orlando
The kick-off times have not yet been determined. In their Friday press release, organizers said that “matches remain subject to approval by the relevant football authorities” but that was likely a technicality.
Separately, Arsenal and Manchester United organized a pre-season friendly on July 22 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. United are also set to play Wrexham in San Diego on July 25 – presumably with a reserve team as they are now scheduled to play Real Madrid in Houston a day later. It then plays against Borussia Dortmund in Vegas on July 30.
Arsenal will also play the MLS All-Stars on July 19th in Washington, DC
The Premier League’s own ‘summer series’ will feature Chelsea, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Fulham, Brighton and Brentford with games in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Orlando, New Jersey and Maryland.