Napoli President De Laurentiis says they're thinking about playing next years Serie A first round games in 10 different cities [@sscnapoli]— Marco Messina (@Marcocalcio22) April 11, 2015
Serie A seems to be follow an ever growing trend of looking outside of its own borders to grow it's brand. It's a smart move in the ever growing globalization of the sport, and if it wants to stay as a widely known league, Serie A needs to attract more of an audience outside of Italy, and this is one way of doing so.
The cities are believed to be: London, New York, Paris, Jakarta, Beijing, and Shanghai— Marco Messina (@Marcocalcio22) April 11, 2015
New York as a possible destination? Thacertainly makes sense as it's one of the biggest media markets in the world. Marco's tweets are back up by Italian site La Stampa, which quotes Aurelio De Laurentiis (Chairman of Napoli) during a recent radio interview.
The following is a translation as provided by Google:
According to the project revealed by the president of Naples, the first day scheduled August 23 could see the races in Serie A play each in a different city, "The idea is not mine - said De Laurentiis - and you started from London but then the appetite comes with eating, and we are thinking in New York, London, Paris, Jakarta, Beijing, Shanghai."
If the plan comes to fruition, it probably won't actually be this year. August 23rd isn't that far away and preparations would have to be made. If it does happen this year though, there's a few possible locations, and only one which makes sense at the moment.
MetLife Stadium is an obvious choice as it has hosted international soccer matches before, but the stadium is set to host a New York Jets preseason game the weekend of August 20-24. while the field could be turned around on short notice, we don't know exactly what date the game is on. Additionally, MetLife uses UBU Sports' Speed Series S5-M field turf instead of traditional grass.
Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, is an option as the Mets are traveling that weekend and it is a grass field. However, I can't imagine Serie A coming over to play in what would look like a cavernous stadium to expand their presence.
Red Bull Arena seems like the only natural choice. The stadium has a natural grass surface and an opening the weekend of the 23rd. The Red Bulls host Toronto FC on the 15th then travel to Chicago for a match on the 26th, not returning to Red Bull Arena until the 30th. The stadium also, with it's soccer first design, is a natural fit as it'll show well on TV, not only in Italy, but around the world. It would be a good way for the league to showcase it wares abroad.
What do you think? If Serie A goes through with the plan, would you attend a competitive match in the NY area? do you think Red Bull Arena is the best fit? Let us know in the comments.