LA Galaxy and The Beautiful Game come to Auckland
Game on! ARC brings LA Galaxy and The Beautiful Game to Auckland
2 September 2008
American Major League Soccer Club the LA Galaxy will play an exhibition game at the ARC’s Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday 6 December 2008.
The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) and Mt Smart Stadium have finalised negotiations with the LA Galaxy and have entered into a contract that will see the high profile club visit Auckland and play at the regional stadium.
ARC Chairman Michael Lee says this is a great opportunity for Auckland and for Aucklanders.
“Hosting David Beckham and the LA Galaxy for a match at the ARC’s Mt Smart Stadium will bring a global sporting superstar of a popular sport to the people of the Auckland region.
“Not only will the game be a unique and exciting family day out, but we are delighted that members of our regional community, especially children, will be able to get close to their remarkable sporting heroes.
“Soccer is one of New Zealand’s biggest participation sports and it is great to see it taking centre field at Mt Smart Stadium,” he says.
The ARC and Mt Smart Stadium are being supported by the Oceania Football Confederation, a natural partner in the soccer arena, and Auckland City Council, experts in delivering major events in Auckland.
“We are very pleased to be bringing the LA Galaxy to Auckland for this opportunity to compete against a quality international opponent made up of All Stars from Oceania,” says Galaxy Assistant General Manager Tom Payne.
“We truly enjoyed our experience in New Zealand last year and look forward to once again providing an exciting match for all of the fans,” says Mr Payne.
In December 2007, the Galaxy traveled to Wellington as part of a two-match tour of Australia and New Zealand that saw the Galaxy play in front of more than 110,000 fans. After losing 5-3 to Sydney FC, the Galaxy travelled to New Zealand where they held a training session in front of more than 15,000 school children. One day later, a crowd of 31,853 was on hand to see the Galaxy defeat the Wellington Phoenix 4-1 behind goals from Clint Mathis, Landon Donovan, Carlos Pavon and David Beckham.
The Oceania All Stars invitational team to play against the LA Galaxy is being assembled from member associations across the Oceania football region.
“Our All Stars team will be captained by Christian Karembeu,” says Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) General Secretary Tai Nicholas.
“This is going to be a tremendous spectacle for soccer fans across the world and we are delighted that OFC is involved.
“I believe a match of this calibre will increase the profile of football in New Zealand and Oceania and provide role models for our youth to aspire too.
“I applaud ARC’s recognition of the power of football to bring people together in a worthy cause as this match will reach out and touch our Pacific Island community not only in Auckland but internationally,” he says.
OFC hopes to include a total of three international players (outside the Oceania region) with more names to be announced in coming weeks.
As well as the match on Saturday 6 December, the ARC, Mt Smart Stadium and partners will host a number of events while the LA Galaxy is visiting New Zealand, including an opportunity for school children to attend a training session.
The mayor of Auckland, Hon John Banks, says securing the match is an important step in establishing the city as a desirable major events destination.
“The LA Galaxy’s visit will be another successful date on Auckland’s events calendar following next month’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup,” he says.
Tickets will go on public sale through Ticketek on Wednesday 24 September 2008. Visa Entertainment are supporting the event and their customers (Visa cardholders) will be notified of their opportunity to pre-purchase tickets. Ticket prices range from $45 to $180, with the premium tickets being part of hospitality packages. Details of ticket sales will be advertised through media outlets and will be posted on the Mt Smart Stadium website at www.mtsmartstadium.co.nz over the next few weeks.
The Auckland Regional Council, Mt Smart Stadium and LA Galaxy wish to thank and acknowledge the role of FIFA Licensed Match Agent Lou Sticca and his Company, Tribal Sports Management in presenting this fantastic opportunity to once again showcase international football in Auckland and New Zealand. Sticca was responsible for LA Galaxy’s tour of Sydney and Wellington in 2007.