Andrew Das of the New York Times is reporting that the International Champions Cup, the brainchild of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Relevent Sports executive chairman Charlie Stillitano, will be adding a four-team Women’s International Champions Cup competition this summer. In addition, all the games featuring top-flight women’s clubs will take place in South Florida, with a final at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
(UPDATE: Matt Higgins of RSE Ventures confirmed to Magic City Soccer that all games will take place at Hard Rock.)
Correction: All matches will be played at Hard Rock. https://t.co/NXogkznmUR
— Matt Higgins (@mhiggins) April 12, 2018
The inaugural Women’s International Champions Cup is slated to feature Manchester City of England, Paris St.-Germain of France, the National Women’s Soccer League’s North Carolina Courage and a fourth club which has not yet been revealed. It’s believed the fourth team could be Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Barcelona or another club with high name recognition in the United States.
There will be four matches in total: Two semifinals on July 27, followed by a third-place game and final at Hard Rock Stadium on July 29.
Das was able to speak to Stillitano, and he said the challenge wasn’t filling spots, but instead pacing the growth of the tournament appropriately.
Slow and steady
“The response we got was extraordinary,” Stillitano told the Times. “Every team was like, ‘Oh, can we send our women this year?’ And we just couldn’t, as an inaugural event, have 16 teams to launch it. This is just something we’re going to have to grow. We’re just trying to grow it properly.”
Stillitano told the Times the first Women’s I.C.C. will serve as a test run for something bigger in the next few years. Ticket prices will be “modest” to encourage attendance, but an expansion to at least eight teams by next year and to 16 in 2020 was possible.