The 2019 version of the International Champions Cup kicked off last night as Chivas de Guadalajara faced off against Fiorentina in suburban Chicago. The ICC started in 2013 as a way to bring some of the biggest clubs in the world to the United States, Asia, and Australia to play in summer preseason friendlies before European seasons began. Teams from Real Madrid and Barcelona to Chelsea and Manchester United to Juventus and Inter Milan have participated several times in the competition all around the world. There have even been MLS teams that have been included in the competition over the years.
While millions of fans have attended matches across the United States and around the world, is it a good thing? Ticket prices for these matches are some of the highest prices in soccer. Supporters tickets for an El Clásico matchup between Real Madrid and Barcelona in Miami a couple years ago were over $320, and that was for the upper deck. Supporters tickets for some of the matches this year are $150 and up. There are some tickets that are under $100 for these big matches, but they are few and far between. Fans may enjoy seeing their heroes play, but it’s going to cost them.
On top of everything, these are preseason matches. With the transfer window very open, some of the players don’t make the trip to America with their team, and new acquisitions rarely make the long trip to play in matches while they are getting acclimated with their new club. It makes for occasions where the fans don’t get to see some of the best players in the world.
Do we really need it here? Is the high ticket cost worth it to have these matches? Or, is this a competition that is watered down by it being preseason matchups that don’t really matter? Have your say in the comments below.