Forget fever pitch. This summer, Fenway Park will become a soccer pitch.
Perennial Scottish Premier League contender Celtic Football Club will take on storied Portuguese football club Sporting Clube de Portugal at Fenway Park on July 21 in the first-ever Fenway Football Challenge.
The event is being made possible by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the city of Boston, Celtic F.C., Sporting C.P., the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group.
"I'm excited to welcome Celtic F.C. and Sporting C.P. to Boston for their exhibition soccer match at Fenway Park," Menino said. "Soccer is a global game, and this match will provide another opportunity to showcase Boston as a truly global city attracting fans from around the world."
Tickets ranging from $20 to $120 will go on sale June 22 (www.tickets.com/footballatfenway). The match will be broadcast live on NESN throughout New England, while plans for a national broadcast are still in the works.
"During its 98-year history, Fenway Park has been privileged to witness some of the best in athletic competition," said Sam Kennedy, EVP/COO of the Boston Red Sox and president of Fenway Sports Group. "As the world celebrates football with the 2010 World Cup, the Fenway Football Challenge will provide New Englanders the opportunity to witness two international clubs — each with a rich heritage and a passionate regional fan base."
Celtic Football Club is based in the Parkhead area of Glasgow, and currently plays in the Scottish Premier League. In April 2008, the club was estimated to have a fan base of nine million people, with one million living in North America.
Sporting C.P., often referred to as "Sporting," currently plays in the Liga Sagres in Portugal. It boasts more than three million fans worldwide.
The July 21 match will mark the 19th soccer game played on Fenway Park grounds. The last time soccer was played at the ballpark was on July 9, 1968, when the Boston Beacons faced Brazil’s Santos F.C. and their star player, soccer legend Pele.
Celtic previously played at Fenway Park on May 30, 1931, and was defeated by the New York Yankees of the American Soccer League.
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