PONTIAC, Mich., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Two of Europe's oldest and most successful professional soccer clubs will meet for the first time in North America when AC Milan and Panathinaikos FC play at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich. on August 6, 2010 at 8 p.m.
Italian Serie A club AC Milan and Super League Greece club Panathinaikos FC are among the world's top professional teams and consistently compete for the championship of their national leagues. Both teams will be bringing their top players and playing the match in preparation for Europe's top-level UEFA Champions League competition that begins later in August and pits the top teams from Europe's national professional leagues against each other.
"From the beginning, my family has wanted to bring a sporting event of this caliber to the Silverdome and we're incredibly excited to bring top-level international soccer back to Metro Detroit," said Steve Apostolopoulos, director of the sports division of Triple Sports & Entertainment, which operates the Silverdome. "This game will be a celebration of the revival of the Silverdome as a world-class sports and entertainment venue."
The match will be played on a natural grass surface that will be installed in the Silverdome for the event.
The players competing at the Match of the Titans are among the best in the world at the club and international levels. A total of 17 players between the two teams will have competed for their national teams at the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa, including players for Brazil, France, Ghana, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy and the United States. Three members of AC Milan won the World Cup with Italy in 2006, and other notable players will include Ronaldinho, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 and was twice FIFA's World Player of the Year and Alexandre Pato, who was the Italian Serie A league's Young Player of the Year last year.
"These players and these teams are among the best in the world, and we're very pleased to be bringing them to the Silverdome," said Roger Faulkner, senior advisor to Triple Sports & Entertainment. A well-known fixture of Michigan's soccer community, Faulkner was chairman of the Detroit host committee for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the last time world-class soccer was played in Michigan. "We're expecting a tremendous match that will draw international fan and media interest and be watched around the world."
Tickets for the match go on sale at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15 at SilverdomeTickets.com and at the Silverdome box office. Ticket prices range from $29.95 to $150, and special group discounts are being offered for youth soccer organizations.
Panathinaikos qualified for the 2010 UEFA Champions League as the champion of the Super League Greece and will enter Champions League play in the Third Qualifying Round. Known as the "Prasinoi" ("Greens") or "Trifilli" ("Shamrocks"), the team has won the Greek Championship 20 times, the Greek Cup seven times and the Greek Super Cup four times. Panathinaikos midfielder Sotiris Ninis is widely regarded as one of the most promising young players in the world, and striker Djibril Cisse was three times the top scorer of his professional league, twice in France and once in Greece.
AC Milan earned a Champions League Group Stage berth on the strength of its third-place finish in the 2009-10 Italian Serie A league. One of the most successful professional soccer clubs in the world, AC Milan has won 18 international UEFA or FIFA titles and 17 Serie A championships. The "Rossoneri," as they are called by fans, are tied with the Argentine Boca Juniors club for most international championships by any club team in history. AC Milan goalkeeper Dida is a five-time nominee for the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper Award, American Oguchi Onyewu is a member of his country's World Cup side and defender Alessandro Nesta is the four-time Serie A defender of the year and a member of Italy's 2006 World Cup championship team.
"After a month of watching World Cup players like Greek National Team captain Giorgos Karagounis, former Greek captain Kostas Katsouranis, Dutch goal-scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo on television, fans will have a chance to watch them play in person at the Silverdome," said Apostolopoulos. "This will be AC Milan's only post-World Cup North American preseason match and it's going to be a great game."
About the Silverdome:
Completed in 1975, the Silverdome is an 82,000-seat domed stadium located in Pontiac, Mich. It is owned by Triple Investment Group LLC, which acquired the facility and began renovations in 2009 and is operated by Triple Sports & Entertainment. For more information about upcoming events, visit www.SilverdomeEvents.com or follow @SilverdomeNews on Twitter.
SOURCE Triple Sports & Entertainment