Wednesday, May 16, 2012
CHICAGO – Soccer is returning to Wrigley Field, as Italy’s AS Roma and Poland’s Zaglebie Lubin will square off for an international “Friendly at the Confines” July 22 at 2:30 p.m. CDT following the Ron Santo Hall of Fame induction ceremony and other Santo tributes for fans that day at Wrigley Field to be announced later.
Wrigley Field plays host to its first soccer game since 1984, when the Chicago Sting beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1. The match at Wrigley Field kicks off the first leg of AS Roma’s United States Tour, with additional stops scheduled for Boston and New York.
Tickets for the first-ever matchup between these two European soccer clubs go on sale Thursday, May 24, at 10 a.m. CDT at www.cubs.com/soccer. Tickets range from $25 to $110 (tax included), with the majority of seats listed at $50 or less.
Each club will feature star players and representatives from their country’s national team. AS Roma’s squad, led by team captain and forward Francesco Totti, features forward Bojan Krkic Pérez and Italian national team forwards Fabio Borini and Pablo Daniel Osvaldo and midfielder Daniele De Rossi. Zaglebie Lubin’s roster includes Polish national team forwards Szymon Pawlowski and Arkadiusz Wozniak, midfielder Maciej Malkowski and defender Marcin Kowalczyk.
The playing field will run from Wrigley Field’s third base dugout to right field, similar to the football field layout during the 2010 Allstate Wrigleyville Classic college football game between Northwestern University and the University of Illinois.
“We’re very pleased AS Roma selected Wrigley Field to host their U.S. tour debut. ‘Friendly at the Confines’ will bring soccer enthusiasts and two passionate, diverse fan bases together to cheer on these proud international franchises at an iconic American venue,” said Chicago Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney.
“As a club, we couldn’t have asked for a better venue to kick off our first-ever U.S. tour than Wrigley Field,” said AS Roma Chief Executive Mark Pannes. “We have an outstanding fan base in the Chicago area and we can’t wait to showcase the legendary club and elite players that are AS Roma for both the Italian and Polish fans.”
“As an ownership group, growing the Roma brand in the U.S. has been one of our top priorities and playing an International Friendly at Wrigley Field against a top Polish club is a big step in the right direction,” said Jim Pallotta, Chief Executive, AS Roma holding company NEEP Roma Holding. “With the largest Polish-American population of any city nationwide, I couldn’t think of a better opponent than Zaglebie Lubin to match up against in the great city of Chicago.”
Speaking about the game, Polish footballing legend and former AS Roma great Zbigniew Boniek said, "The Polish and Italian communities in Chicago are both equally passionate about their football. This will be a fantastic match and Wrigley Field is a truly iconic venue. I was not fortunate enough to have the opportunity of playing in Wrigley Field but I played many times for AS Roma and for Poland and I know that the players and the fans will be looking forward to this match very much"
AS Roma of Italy’s legendary Serie A division and Zaglebie Lubin of Poland’s Ekstraklasa both have recently come under new ownership. AS Roma, one of European soccer’s most storied and prestigious franchises, was purchased by a consortium led by Boston-based Raptor Group’s Jim Pallotta last year, while Zaglebie Lubin was purchased by KGHM, Poland’s largest company.
About AS Roma
Founded in 1927, the legendary AS Roma plays in world-renowned Italian Serie A football league. The Rome-based professional team has won three Serie A titles, nine Coppa Italia titles and two Supercoppa Italiana titles. AS Roma’s youth academy regularly produces more Serie A players than any other in Italy. The Giallorossi, whom call Stadio Olympico home, is the only Italian League team to be owned by a group based in the U.S. The group, based out of Boston, is led by Raptor Group’s Jim Pallotta.
About Zaglebie Lubin
Founded in 1946, the KGHM Zaglebie Lubin professional football club is based in Lubin, Poland.
Nicknamed "The Coppers," Zaglebie Lubin competes in Poland’s top division, the Ekstraklasa. The owner of the club is KGHM Polska Mied? S.A., a company with deep traditions, rich in experience and numerous achievements. KGHM is the 9th-largest producer of copper and the 3rd-largest producer of silver in the world. Zaglebie Lubin won the Ekstraklasa in 1990-1991 and 2006-2007 and captured the Polish SuperCup title in 2007.