For all the Fiorentina fans living in the Western Hemisphere who can’t justify a transatlantic trip to see the Viola play live, we’ve got some really exciting news for you. Fiorentina will be playing 3 matches in the International Champions Cup in the US of A this summer. In the competition’s first match, they take on Mexican outfit Guadalajara (or Chivas, for those of you keeping track at home, then follow that up with clashes against Arsenal and Benfica. While matchtimes haven’t yet been released, we know the dates and locations.
The International Champions Cup is, to be perfectly honest, a pretty cynical cash grab for both the clubs that sign up and by Relevent Sports, the organization that produces it. Usually hosted on various continents, fans pay top dollar to see their favorite teams and players (or at least, like, two of the first team players and a bunch of kids wearing numbers in the 50s), who treat the games exactly like what they are: preseason training matches with little intensity.
That said, these tend to attract some of the biggest clubs in the world. For example, this year’s all-US edition features the likes of Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid. It’s enough to rather make one wonder how poor little Fiorentina snuck into the mix. Then, when you look at who’s running it, things make a bit more sense.
Relevent Sports is a sports venture capital firm owned by billionaire Stephen Ross (owner of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins) and Matt Higgins, a former executive with the New York Jets. The organization is headquartered in northern New Jersey. And, wouldn’t you know it, that’s where Rocco Commisso’s seat of power is? It seems pretty apparent that the Fiorentina owner called in some favors and got his new team added to the ICC’s roster.
However nefarious the means of entering the tournament, though—to say nothing of the tournament itself—it’s probably the cheapest opportunity fans in North America will have to see Fiorentina play a match live; that may well be true for those in South America as well. It will also give the Viola a hefty payout that probably won’t matter too much, given FFP’s relaxed strictures on new owners, but that certainly won’t hurt.
Add in the free publicity of playing against Chivas (Mexico’s most popular team) and Arsenal, as well as a chance to strengthen the gemellaggio with Benfica, and you have a summer that’s probably going to work wonders on the team. We’ll try to organize meetups for anyone attending over the next few weeks.
- vs. Chivas, 16 July 2019, at the SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, IL (just outside Chicago)
- vs. Arsenal, 21 July 2019, at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC
- vs Benfica, 25 July 2019, at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ (just outside Newark)