|Mexico national soccer team kicks off US tour with Charlotte match|
|El Tri plays at Bank of America Stadium March 26|
|Published Monday, December 2, 2019 2:02 pm|
|PHOTO | TROY HULL|
|Bank of America Stadium, which hosted the Gold Cup and International Champions Cup last summer, will host the Mexican national team's American tour kickoff March 26.|
Soccer will return to Bank of America Stadium before its traditional summer dates.
The Mexican national team will play in Charlotte on March 26 to kick off their #MexTour, followed by a game in Arlington, Texas’ AT&T Stadium on March 29. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Dec. 9. Additional matches, opponents and kickoff times will be announced at a later date.
Charlotte hosted Mexico in a Concacaf Gold Cup group stage match in June as well as 2015 and 2011. El Tri first played in Charlotte in 2010 in a scoreless draw against Iceland.
Soccer was guaranteed to return to Bank of America Stadium for the second year in a five-year deal with the International Champions Cup, a preseason summer tournament which has been played in Charlotte five times. The extended deal was described by Carolina Panthers President Tom Glick as “a first of its kind” agreement. The second annual House of Soccer also took place in Charlotte last summer.
Bringing events beyond American football to the 75,412-seat Bank of America Stadium surfaced before David Tepper bought the Panthers in 2018. Two major concerts have been announced: Billy Joel on April 18 and Garth Brooks on May 2. Tepper’s eye is also on Major League Soccer, and he has the interest of league commissioner Don Garber. Last month in Seattle during his annual State of the League remarks, Garber noted continued expansion over the next few months. He said Charlotte leads the pack, but Las Vegas and Phoenix are being considered for the 30th franchise.
“There are three markets we’re looking at, that our expansion committee is engaged with: Charlotte, Las Vegas and Phoenix,” Garber said. “It’s fair to say Charlotte has done a lot of work to move their bid to the front of the line. It starts with David Tepper, passionate about our sport and very passionate about Charlotte.”
An MLS franchise playing at an upgraded Bank of America Stadium would mirror the model used by Atlanta United, which shares Mercedes Benz Stadium with the Falcons. MLS’s New England and Seattle franchises also play in NFL stadiums.
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