The New Arrowhead officially held it’s first sporting event today. It was football, but not the football most of us are used to. The Kansas City Wizards beat Manchester United 2-1 in front of the largest crowed to ever watch a soccer match in Kansas City.
A crowd of 52,342, the biggest for Manchester United on its North American tour so far — eclipsed the 37,319 who witnessed a World Cup qualifier in 2001.
The crowd may have also been drawn partly out of curiosity to see the newly renovated Arrowhead Stadium, which was hosting its first event after a $325 million makeover.
Officials hoped a big, enthusiastic crowd would help the town’s bid to host future World Cup games.
“I’m very optimistic that the United States has a very good shot at landing the 2022 World Cup, and Arrowhead is on the list as one of the 18 stadiums that would be a possible venue for that game.” Hunt lobbied hard to get the Manchester United-Wizards match.
“Events like tonight’s where we’re going to have over 50,000 people in the building for a soccer game I think will be a big selling point for both FIFA and U.S. Soccer when it comes time to make the decision on which stadium to bring the World Cup to,” he said.
What an amazing turnout, even if a good portion of the crowd was there to get the first look at the New Arrowhead. If the US gets the World Cup, is there any possible way Kansas City isn’t hosting games?
This sort of crowd was also a great test run for the preseason opener for the Chiefs on August 27th against the Eagles.