NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The Guinness International Champions Cup is bringing some of the best soccer teams and players in the world to 13 cities in the U.S. The matchup between Real Madrid and AS Roma brought huge crowds to the Cotton Bowl Tuesday night.
Organizers say expanding the tournament stops to include Dallas this summer was a logical choice: North Texas has a large fan base, just coming down from celebrating the World Cup.
As the traditionally football stadium transformed into a soccer field for the night game, some 60,000 people wearing jerseys packed into the stands.
Six-year-old Caden was one of a handful of local kids who held hands with players as the teams took the field before the game began (a tradition of the sport).
“It’s pretty awesome that we get to walk out with professional players,” Caden said.
College student David Fraga and a group of friends drove in from Tyler. They tailgated in the parking lot before heading for the gates.
“I think soccer has always been around. I think people are just realizing it more, and supporting it,” said Fraga.
The game provided a boost of business to establishments in the Fair Park area.
Pizza Lounge saw three times the normal wave of customers for a Tuesday.
“We’re very, very excited to have the game across the street,” said co-owner Michael Liebermann.
Tournament organizers say, if the match in Dallas proves the success they anticipate, they may bring the game back next year.