Houston is set to host Manchester City at the NRG Stadium on 20 July as part of the club’s 2022/23 pre-season tour, building on the city’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The Premier League team will play against Club América in its first pre-season fixture at the 72,000 capacity NRG Stadium, which marks Manchester City’s return to NRG Stadium after the Manchester United clash in July 2017 in the first overseas Manchester derby.
Houston aims to demonstrate its ‘international appeal’ and ‘proven ability’ to host global sporting events successfully.
Chris Canetti, Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee President, commented: “The fact that current Premier League Champions Manchester City have chosen to return to the city of Houston twice in five years is evidence of the city’s operational readiness to host global sporting events.
“Houston’s state-of-the-art NRG Stadium, recognised as the ‘Best Football Crowd in America’ in 2008, will provide an electric atmosphere for fans in the stadium and watching around the world.
“Ultimately, this is a timely boost as we near a decision on our objective of becoming a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”
Manchester City’s decision means that the club returns to the fourth largest city in the US, whilst NRG Stadium has previously held two Super Bowls, two NCAA Men’s Final Fours, the Copa America, Gold Cup and various international football matches.
These include the United States Women’s and Men’s National Teams, the Mexican Men’s National Team, to name a few, as well as other professional teams from across the globe.
Boosting its FIFA World Cup bid for 2026, Houston is against 16 US cities to host matches for the tournament, with FIFA set to decide on the US host cities in June. A final decision is expected in the first half of 2022.