An announcement that had been rumored for weeks, if not months, finally became official Thursday as the International Champions Cup confirmed that European soccer powers AC Milan and Manchester City will play July 27 at Heinz Field.
The match will start at 4 p.m. and be televised live on Fox Sports 1.
It’s part of a group stage of the International Championship Cup tournament that will end Aug. 4 in Miami.
Pittsburgh was one of 30 cities that expressed interest in playing host to a game, according to Charlie Stillitano, CEO of Relevent Sports, the company staging the tournament.
Stillitano credited the persistence of Jim Sacco, the director of stadium management at Heinz Field, as a major reason the game is coming to Pittsburgh.
He also made it a point to acknowledge the city as a growing soccer market.
“You have tremendous youth soccer in the area, and it’s really grown,” Stillitano said.
“The parents are feeling a bit of that pull if you’re English, Irish, Italian, Polish. We’re getting a lot of positive feedback.”
AC Milan and Manchester City remain alive in the 2014 Champions League, arguably the most prestigious competition in European club soccer. Manchester City also remains in contention for the English Premier League title this season.
Milan features such stars as Mario Balotelli and Kaka
“I won’t say it’s a preseason Champions League,” Stillitano said. “But it certainly has the flavor of it with all the teams you have here.”
General public tickets go on sale Saturday on Ticketmaster and at the Heinz Field box office. Groups of 20 or more can access discounted tickets through PA West Soccer at PAWest-Soccer.org.
Sam Werner: email@example.com and Twitter @SWernerPG.