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Westgate set for Man U-America tilt in July

By - Apr 14, 2018

By Lexy Cancelmi / For The Sporting Nation

The kickoff to Tour 2018 by Aon will take place at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale on July 19 with a match between Manchester United of England and Club America of Mexico. This is the second consecutive year Manchester is playing in the United States and will be a first for the tour to play in the Phoenix area.


With two widely popular teams who have large fan bases, the businesses in close proximity to the stadium are sure to reap benefits from these teams coming to town.


Tickets for the match went on sale to the general public on April 12. Many of the fans who purchased their tickets will be commuting at least 60 miles.

University of Phoenix Stadium's marketing and public relations director, Rebecca Mobley, expects these long commuters to help bring in even more revenue to the stadium. “Fans who are driving that far will come early, eat and drink, party and have a good time, meaning they are spending money on concessions or at the bars in the stadium," Mobley said. 


Mobley also said there has already seen a great response from both teams and both fan bases, giving them motr to look forward to.


The entertainment district right across from the stadium is where soccer fans can continue the fun after the game or before if they choose to do so. Westgate is home to 30 bars and restaurants, as well as various retailers. Salt Tacos and Tequila is just one of many bars that is preparing for the madness of the day come July.


Manager Brent Johnston is planning ahead and making sure his staff and restaurant are well prepared for all the fans. “We have to staff differently, we have to make sure we stagger their schedules and have enough people working to accommodate the large crowds,” Johnston said. “This means tons of cooks on staff, dishwashers, and servers so there will be no delays and the guests are happy.”


Salt has a third bar upstairs which they open during special events and or during the busy season. “We want to maximize our restaurant as much as we possibly can and opening our third bar upstairs allows us to do so,” Johnston said. 


Salt as well as many other businesses in the Westgate District advertise their specials across their social media leading up to the big event to lure fans. Salt has hosted fans of the Mexican national team when it has played matches at the stadium.


Many of the restaurants and bars will have fans bring in their ticket stub for a special on food or drinks.


“For spring training we had a special where if you brought your game ticket in you could get a $1 margarita and we will probably do something similar for the soccer match in July,” Johnston said.


Another tactic that the Westgate District is implementing to spur sales is adding a special set-up outside of their business.


“We usually have a lot of balloons outside, something to catch attention and to one-up the competition around us to bring the people in,” Johnston said.


With the soccer match taking place in the middle of an Arizona summer, it figures to be a scorcher. Restaurant slow season starts when the temperatures get hot, making it harder for servers to make a steady income.


Mikayla Martinez, a server and avid soccer fan, is ready for the matchup to bring in heavy crowds to the Glendale area. “In the summer it’s a lot harder to make money if you’re a server so anything big like this that comes to town will help us make more money,” Martinez said. 


Manchester United vs. Club America tickets can be purchased at the University of Phoenix Stadium box office or online through Ticketmaster.



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