Dodger Stadium to host soccer for first time in 52 years

By Paul Kennedy and Ridge Mahoney

The St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees hosted soccer games last week at Busch Stadium and Yankee Stadium, respectively. Honduras and Israel will play Sunday at the New York Mets' Citi Field. Other famous baseball parks like Boston's Fenway Park have hosted international soccer matches in recent years.

Now it's Dodger Stadium's turn to host international soccer. What makes the Aug. 3 Guinness International Champions Cup doubleheader involving the LA Galaxy, Real Madrid, Juventus and Everton unique is that it will be the first time since its opening in 1962 that soccer has been played at Chavez Ravine.

Besides serving as the home of the Dodgers (and early on the Angels), Dodger Stadium has hosted the 1984 Olympic Games baseball competition and 2009 World Baseball Classic Final. The Beatles played there, a papal mass has been held at the stadium, and it will even host a Kings-Ducks NHL game in January 2014.

"We are excited to host our first professional soccer games and four world-class teams," said Dodgers' President Stan Kasten in a statement. "This will be a very special event for Southern California sports fans as we get the opportunity to see some of the world's greatest soccer stars perform at Dodger Stadium."

The Galaxy, who cross-promoted with the Dodgers in recent years, will open Guinness Champions Cup play with the quarterfinals Aug. 1 against Real Madrid at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. One day before that game, Everton will play Juventus at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Real Madrid will play in the first game of the Dodger Stadium doubleheader against either Everton or Juventus at 5 p.m. PT, while the Galaxy will play in the second game of the night, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT.

SIRIUS ADDS GUINNESS CUP. Sirius XM satellite radio has expanded its soccer content by adding play-by-play coverage of the Guinness International Champions Cup games to be played this summer.

It will air all eight games involving the Galaxy, Juventus, Real Madrid and Everton, plus Inter Milan, Valencia, Chelsea and AC Milan. The tournament kicks off July 27 and concludes Aug. 7. Sirius XM will also broadcast another Relevent event, the June 11 friendly between Spain and Ireland at Yankee Stadium.

“The 2013 Guinness International Champions Cup, along with Spain-Ireland at Yankee Stadium, will showcase an exceptional group of internationally renowned teams at the highest level of their sport,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s president and chief content officer. “Soccer fans around the country are excited for what will be a terrific series of matches this summer and we’re very pleased to deliver these events to our subscribers on SiriusXM FC, channel 94.”

CONCESSIONAIRES NAMED. Philadelphia-based ARAMARK has been chosen by FIFA to provide concession services at the Confederations Cup this year as well as the 2014 World Cup.

ARAMARK will team up with Convivas Brasil as the official food and beverage concessionaire for the two competitions. The decision follows a public-tender process that evaluated bids from 17 food-service providers, most of which are based in Brazil. The companies will jointly manage concessions and workforce catering in the six Confederations Cup stadia and 12 venues selected for the World Cup. Approximately 6,000 workers will be utilized for the Confederations Cup, with a projected work force for the World Cup expected to top 10,000.

In addition to hiring and training a local workforce, ARAMARK and Convivas have pledged to align closely with local Brazilian service providers and provide a wide selection of cuisine. The menu will showcase international choices as well as regional influences, such as acarajé (black-eyed pea fritters) in Salvador, feijão tropeiro (cattleman's beans) in Belo Horizonte and bolo de rolo (roll cake) in Recife.
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