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Manchester City To Face Chelsea At Busch Stadium

Rachel Lippmann
St. Louis Public Radio

Two of the top soccer teams in the world will bring their historic rivalry to St. Louis in May.

The exhibition game between Chelsea and Manchester City is set for May 23, with an open practice on May 22.

It’ll be just four days after the end of the English Premier League Season.

And Charlie Stillitano, the CEO of the management company bringing the game to Busch, says plenty of bad blood will remain. That means both teams will bring full squads to St. Louis.

“So if you think they’re not going to play hard, you’ve got another thing coming to you. These guys will act as if this is the FA Final cup for them,” Stillitano said.
Stillitano says both teams will bring full rosters to St. Louis.

The game marks the first time Chelsea will appear in St. Louis. Manchester City was last here in 1955.

The game is the first time the current Busch Stadium will host a sport other than baseball. And Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III says it will be a good test.

“We’re excited about soccer because it’s a new thing for us,” DeWitt said. “We think that some more soccer, as well as perhaps some football, maybe even some hockey, and just explore what we can do with this facility.”

The grounds crew will have about three days to convert the baseball diamond to a soccer pitch. That will involve digging up the pitcher’s mound and sodding part of the warning track.

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