Eyes of the soccer world will be on Houston

July 26, 2010 5:10:24 PM PDT
Houston is getting ready for a soccer showdown. On Wednesday, the best players in Major League Soccer will take on one of the most recognizable teams in the world -- Manchester United. It's an event that's expected to draw tens of thousands to Reliant Stadium. And win or lose, it looks like the city of Houston will come out ahead in this deal.

Squeals of laughter filled Discovery Green Monday afternoon as members of the Boys and Girls Club got to learn soccer from some of the sport's best. It's one of the benefits of having the Major League Soccer All-Star game in town.

"One of the fastest growing programs in America is soccer," said Everett Curl with the Boys and Girls Club. "It's a great opportunity whenever our kids come out and interact with one of the soccer players."

While the kids are just hoping to have a good time, the city of Houston is hoping for much more. At least 10,000 visitors are expected pour into the city, and host hotels like the Hyatt are expecting to make a bundle, especially with the hottest team in soccer in town.

"When you have Manchester United playing, which is the New York Yankee of baseball, they're a wonderful team, and the most recognized team in the world," said Senior Director Stan Skadal with Hyatt.

City officials expect fans to pump $10 million to $15 million into the local economy in the next three days. Lucky's Pub is just hoping to get a small portion of that.

"We've already been advertising that we're using our bus to drive everyone to the light rail, and to let them know we can park there for free and we'll take to the rail," said Lucky's Pub Manager Colby VanCleape.

Reliant Stadium should be packed by game time Wednesday, while organizers are counting on fans to enjoy Houston until then.

There are still some tickets left for the game.


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