FC Barcelona and AC Milan to play in Baltimore this summer

Before the Ravens 2024 season begins, M&T Bank Stadium will host two of the most recognizable brands in sports: Spain’s FC Barcelona and Italy’s AC Milan.

The soccer match, to be played Aug. 6, will be the first international pro soccer competition at the football stadium since 2022, when Everton and Arsenal of the English Premier League played in what was dubbed the “Charm City Match.” Before that, it had been seven years since the venue hosted international soccer competitions, which have included friendlies and CONCACAF Gold Cup matches.

“We are excited to bring to Baltimore two of the most iconic soccer franchises in the world, FC Barcelona and AC Milan,” Ravens president Sashi Brown said in a statement. “Hosting international soccer matches at M&T Bank Stadium shows the Mid-Atlantic’s growing demand and passion for the beautiful game and the Ravens’ commitment to bringing world-class sports and entertainment events to the greater Baltimore region.”

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The match is part of the 2024 Soccer Champions Tour — a total of six matches between international pro teams that will also be played in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Charlotte and Orlando.

The matches remain subject to approval by the relevant soccer authorities, according to a news release.

The game comes amid a road trip for the Orioles, who will play away from Baltimore from Aug. 1 to Aug. 11, avoiding traffic concerns at the Camden Yards complex.

An announced crowd of 39,245 — the bulk of whom were Arsenal supporters — at M&T Bank Stadium in July 2022 watched as Arsenal defeated Everton, 2-0, in a friendly. Baltimore had been vying that year to be a host site for the men’s World Cup in 2026, which will be held in North America, but barely missed out on making the cut.

The city might still be involved somehow in the World Cup, though — a team could train in the city, for example.

There is also some momentum to bring a soccer-specific stadium, and with it a team or two, to Baltimore. The Maryland Stadium Authority is studying the possibility of building a soccer stadium at two sites in Baltimore: Carroll Park or Swann Park. The potential venue, which would hold between 7,500 and 10,000 spectators, would host a men’s minor league club that would feed the MLS’ D.C. United and, perhaps, a women’s team.

The study will be completed next year and it’s unknown how feasible building a stadium would be and who would ultimately pay the millions of dollars that it would cost. Local government agencies and D.C. United are splitting the cost of commissioning the $450,000 study.

This story will be updated.