Reliant Stadium has been home to several of the largest soccer crowds in U.S. history.
The upcoming FIFA World Cup 2010 qualifying match between Belize and Mexico will be televised nationally by Telemundo, Lone Star Sports & Entertainment announced today. The match is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start on Sunday, June 15 at Reliant Stadium.
The match will air in Houston on KTMD Ch. 47. Futbol de Primera will broadcast the match nationally on the radio. Locally, it will be carried on LaRanchera 850 AM.
Tickets for the first-ever World Cup qualifier in Houston range from $30-75 and are available at all TicketMaster outlets, including all Houston-area Fiesta stores. Fans may also purchase tickets online at www.ticketmaster.com, over the phone at 713-629-3700 or at the Reliant Stadium box office. Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets together by calling 832-667-2390. As of Thursday morning, nearly 23,000 tickets have been sold for the match.
ABOUT THE BELIZE vs. MÉXICO MATCH:
The match will be the first FIFA World Cup qualifier to be played in Houston. The match is the first of a home-and-home series between the nations as they begin the quest to compete in the FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa in 2010. Belize will be the home team for the match, with the teams set to face off in Mexico on Saturday, June 21, 2008.
This match marks the beginning of the second round of World Cup qualifying. Belize defeated St. Kitts and Nevis by an aggregate score of 4-2 in round one, while Mexico had a bye in the first round. There are four rounds of qualifying which will conclude next summer, when the top three teams from the CONCACAF region will qualify for World Cup South Africa 2010 and the fourth place team will play a home-and-home series against the fifth place CONMEBOL team for one final spot.
The match will also mark Belize's debut in the city. Mexico will be making their third trip to Houston in the last 12 months and sixth overall. They played a pair of matches in Houston during last summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup and faced the United States in a friendly match in February. Mexico made their Houston debut versus the United States on May 8, 2003. They played a pair of CONCACAF Gold Cup matches in Houston in 2005 and faced Bulgaria on November 16, 2005.
For the second consecutive year, Reliant Stadium will host a major international soccer event featuring the Mexican men's national team on Father's Day. In 2007, the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal matches were played on Sunday, June 17. Mexico defeated Costa Rica, 1-0, and Guadeloupe topped Honduras, 2-1, before a crowd of 70,092—the third-largest soccer crowd in Texas history
Likely making his debut in official international competition will be new Mexico coach Jesus Ramirez. Mexico will play three friendly matches under Ramirez – all in the United States – but the match against Belize will be his first in a competitive setting. Mexico faces China in Seattle on April 16, Argentina in San Diego on June 4 and Peru in Chicago on June 8.
Broadcast information will be announced at a later date.
ABOUT LONE STAR SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment (LSSE) is an independent event management company which is closely affiliated with the NFL's Houston Texans. Since being founded in 2003, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. LSSE has delivered the five largest crowds to witness soccer matches in Texas history, all within the last five years, including the 2006 FC Barcelona United States tour, the 2005 and 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cups, and international friendly matches between the United States and México in 2003 and 2008. LSSE moved into the world of college football in 2006 when it established the Texas Bowl. In its two-year existence, the Texas Bowl has generated an average of $25 million in local economic impact in the Greater Houston area. The Texas Bowl has grown its season ticket base to more than 20,000, a number which is on par with BCS-level bowl games. This year, LSSE is branching out into the concert industry as it brings Kenny Chesney's Poets and Pirates Tour to Reliant Stadium in August. LSSE has also assisted the Stanford Financial Champions Cup tennis tournament and the PGA Tour's Shell Houston Open with local marketing and promotion.
ABOUT TRAFFIC SPORTS:
Traffic Sports is one of the leading sports event management companies in the world. Traffic Sports was founded in Brazil over 20 years ago and continues to be headquartered in São Paulo. Traffic has regional offices in Miami (Traffic Sports USA), Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Lisbon, Portugal. During the past two decades, Traffic Sports has organized and/or commercialized most of the official international events in the Americas including: the FIFA Club World Championship 2000, Copa America, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana and Gold Cup. Traffic Sports also owns Miami FC (USL-1 Team) and Desportivo Brasil (Team/Academy in Brazil) and has partnerships with Palmeiras, Avai and Ituano in Brazil. Traffic Sports is part of the Traffic Group, a diverse group of companies specialized in sports and entertainment including Rede Globo affiliates in Brazil, a network of newspapers in Brazil (Bom Dia) and a television production facility (TV7).