The Big House has already shown it can handle a transformation into a 100,000-seat hockey venue, and do so with aplomb. So for its next trick, how about hosting two giants of world soccer for a blockbuster friendly?
Michigan and the organizers of the International Champions Cup announced Friday that Real Madrid and Manchester United will square off as part of the annual "exhibition competition" at Michigan Stadium on Aug. 2. Tickets will go on sale next week.
"We are excited about the opportunity to host two of soccer's premier clubs at Michigan Stadium," Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said in a statement. "This is a rare chance for the Ann Arbor community and thousands of soccer fans in and around the southeast Michigan area to watch elite level professional soccer.
"This event will have a positive economic impact on the city of Ann Arbor and the state of Michigan and will continue to extend the Michigan brand internationally."
The International Champions Cup will feature eight different major European clubs (including the likes of Manchester City, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Liverpool, etc.) on their preseason American tours, with games played across the US. Organizers specified that the walls of Michigan Stadium were wide enough to accomodate a FIFA regulation-size field.
As a preseason sort-of-friendly, the match likely won't feature all of Real Madrid's and Man U's biggest stars (though it should feature some), and this ...
The intensity of #ICC2014 will be "just as much as a Champions League match."— Int Champions Cup (@IntChampionsCup) April 4, 2014
... is, frankly, giggle-worthy. But it's not every day even the B-teams of the likes of Real and Man U take the field at a place like the Big House. If you're a soccer fan within driving distance, it might be time to open the wallet.