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Notre Dame Stadium Hosting Chelsea vs. Celtic FC Friendly in July 2024

March 18, 2024
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Notre Dame Stadium will once again host an international soccer friendly as England’s Chelsea FC and Scotland’s Celtic FC will hit the pitch on July 27th. 

The first time Notre Dame hosted a summer friendly was in July 2019, when 40,000 fans watched Borussia Dortmund beat Liverpool 3-2. 

New Notre Dame Athletic Director Pete Bevacqua is planning for more fans this summer. 

“We think we’ll hopefully get 70,000 people,” stated Bevacqua. “We’ll drum up excitement, and hopefully, we’ll have a beautiful day in July. I think we’ll pack the stadium. That’s our intent, our hope and certainly our expectation.” 

Chelsea is a two-time Champions League and six-time English Premier League champion while Celtic FC has been named Scottish Champions 53 times. 

The rich history of both clubs is also a perfect match for Notre Dame Stadium. 

“There’s an expectation when you talk about Chelsea Football Club and Celtic Football Club,” Bevacqua explained. “That history of success and championships. Nothing less than championships is expected, and that’s what we have here at Notre Dame for all of our sports. Certarinly, every time we go into that stadium and play another school on the football field, we want to win. That’s the Notre Dame way. That’s the expectation and what we expect. I know that’s what these two great football clubs expect as well.

“It’s a great coming together of these cultures to have a different sport come into Notre Dame Stadium. These two football clubs have such a great history and fanbase, much like us. When you’re talking about Chelsea and Celtic, it’s not only their own countries, areas and regions, but these are two fanbases that have such an international appeal.” 

As it relates to organizing and getting Notre Dame Stadium ready for a soccer match, Bevacqua and Notre Dame can lean on the 2019 experience to ensure smooth operations, which will likely include installing grass. 

“I think we have some of the best operations staff in sports and certainly in the university environment,” Bevacqua said. “I can’t say enough about the great work they do day in and out. We’ll be ready.” 

Bevacqua also believes this is the ideal time to host an international friendly due to the game's growth in the United States and Notre Dame's success in the sport. 

“I think this is a great moment for soccer in this country,” Bevacqua. “I think the timing of this in July is ideal because there’s a fever for soccer right now in the United States. We certainly see it on our campus with our men’s team and women’s team. We had such a wonderful men’s season going to the national championship. 

“I just think it’s a great time for soccer. I couldn’t be more excited about the timing of this match happening with these two historic teams. I think it continues this growth and this evolution in this country that I’ve never been more bullish about than I am right now.’ 

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