What is being billed as the largest soccer event in the history of Indianapolis will take place Thursday. Chelsea FC of England and Italy's Inter Milan will face off at Lucas Oil Stadium, which temporarily installed natural grass for the match. Indy Eleven Head Coach Juergen Sommer, whose team will begin play next year, tells Inside INdiana Business Contributor Bill Benner the city and state will benefit from the game's international exposure. News Release

Originally Posted May 29, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indy Eleven Professional Soccer and Relevent Sports today announced that European soccer giants Chelsea FC and Inter Milan will face off at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday, August 1 as part of the Guinness International Champions Cup. Kickoff for the contest, which will be broadcast internationally on FOX Soccer, is set for 8:00 p.m. ET.

“Indy Eleven is proud to join with Relevent Sports in bringing the International Champions Cup to the soccer fans of Indiana,” said Indy Eleven Owner Ersal Ozdemir. “Chelsea FC and Inter Milan will carry great tradition with them to Indianapolis, and Indy Eleven looks forward to hosting an event that will match their world-class quality on August 1.”

“This high-profile match between two storied organizations will again focus the eyes of the international sports world squarely on Indianapolis,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “We are among the best hosts of major sporting events in the world and this will be another great opportunity to showcase our great city and its hospitality to thousands people from around the country and the world that will travel here to be a part of the excitement.”

Tickets for Chelsea FC-Inter Milan showdown in the Circle City will go on sale to the public via TicketMaster.com and in person at the Lucas Oil Stadium Box Office beginning Tuesday, June 4 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Prices for seats in the main seating bowl will range from $30 to $135, and VIP and hospitality packages will also be available for the event.

Indy Eleven Season Ticket Holders will have the first chance at the best seats in the house for this first-of-its-kind soccer event in the State of Indiana, as they will enjoy a five-day private sale beginning immediately and lasting through the public on-sale next Tuesday morning. For more information on how to become an Indy Eleven Season Ticket Holder and take advantage of this opportunity via a $25 per seat deposit for the club’s inaugural 2014 season, click on the “Tickets” section of www.IndyEleven.com.

More local groups will join the private sale opportunity on Friday, May 31 at 10:00 a.m., when the Indiana Soccer Association, Indiana Champions League, Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Sports Corp and Brickyard Battalion supporters group will invite its member bases to purchase tickets until the start of Tuesday’s public on-sale.

The Guinness International Champions Cup is a unique tournament featuring eight of the planet’s most recognizable soccer clubs: AC Milan, Chelsea FC, Everton, Inter Milan, Juventus, LA Galaxy, Real Madrid and Valencia. Preliminary round contests will be hosted in Indianapolis; San Francisco; Phoenix and Valencia, Spain from July 27-August 1, with those matches followed by semifinal doubleheaders in Los Angeles and New York City. The tournament will wrap up on August 6-7 with four matches featuring all eight squads at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium.

For more information on the full Guinness International Champions Cup, including the tournament bracket and team information, visit www.InternationalChampionsCup.com.

“Indianapolis is a top American soccer city, and we're happy to finally bring soccer to Lucas Oil Stadium,” said Relevent Sports Chief Executive Officer Charlie Stillitano. “We have no doubt that Chelsea FC and Inter Milan will provide an unforgettable match for the local fans.”

One of England’s most historic clubs, Chelsea became one of the world’s top teams following the purchase of the club by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003. Since then, Chelsea has won three English Premier League titles, four F.A. Cup titles and the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League title. Chelsea FC captured its most recent piece of hardware just two weeks ago on May 15, when it won the 2012-13 Europa League trophy via a dramatic 2-1 victory over Portugal’s Benfica in Amsterdam.

The “Blues” play in the famed Stamford Bridge, which holds almost 42,000 fans and opened its doors in 1905. The club currently features a roster filled with international stars including Juan Mata (Spain), Eden Hazard (Belgium) and Frank Lampard (England). After relieving manager Rafa Benitez of his duties on Tuesday, Chelsea FC is rumored to bring back to Stamford Bridge Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese leader that saw the London-based side through one of the most prosperous trophy hauls in its history from 2004-07. For more information on the Blues, visit www.ChelseaFC.com.

“Chelsea Football Club is looking forward to participating in the International Champions Cup as part of our preparation for the 2013/14 season,” said Ron Gourlay, Chelsea FC Chief Executive. “After the great reception we have just received in St Louis, we are pleased to be visiting another new city in Indianapolis. We are also looking forward to returning to New York and Miami, where we always enjoy strong support.”

F.C. Internazionale Milano, popularly known as Inter, is one of the most famous clubs in world football. Since its foundation in 1908, it has always played in Serie A, the top tier of Italian soccer. In its long and illustrious history the club has won 18 Serie A titles, three European Cups, three Intercontinental Cups, three UEFA Cups, seven Italian Cups and five Italian Super Cups. Inter currently stands ninth in the UEFA club coefficient ranking.

The club is owned by Massimo Moratti, whose family owns one of Italy’s most prominent companies in Saras S.p.A. It is currently managed by Andrea Stramaccioni and is led by legendary Argentine captain Javier Zanetti, who leads the club in all-time appearances with over 800 games since his debut for the team in 1995. To read more on I Nerazzurri (the “Black and Blue”) visit www.InterMilan.com.

“Inter is thrilled to open the tournament against Chelsea, another internationally renowned football club with whom we have shared some exciting European encounters in the past,” the Italian club stated via a spokesperson. “We are looking forward to playing in Indianapolis for the first time after two successful preseason tours of the States in 2009 and 2010.”

About Indy Eleven

Born Indy Pro Soccer after launching as the 12th member of the North American Soccer League (NASL) on January 16, 2013, Indy Eleven established its permanent identity 99 days later on the 152nd anniversary of the establishment of the 11th Indiana Regiment Infantry during the Civil War on April 25, 1861. The NASL is the officially-sanctioned Second Division of professional soccer established in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with member teams including: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina Railhawks, FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, New York Cosmos (Fall 2013), Minnesota Stars FC, Puerto Rico Islanders, San Antonio Scorpions FC and the 2012 Soccer Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Rowdies. Indy Eleven, Ottawa Fury FC and Virginia Calvary FC will begin play in Spring 2014. For more information on Indiana's new professional soccer club, please visit IndyEleven.com and follow the team via its social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Instagram.

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