CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A record crowd will be on hand to witness FC Cincinnati's heavily anticipated international friendly against London-based Crystal Palace FC Saturday.
The club announced Friday that they've sold over every single ticket for the match at Nippert Stadium. A complete soccer sellout at Nippert is 35,000.
With some calling the match the biggest soccer event in Cincinnati soccer history, FC Cincinnati has a few things in store for attending fans.
- Gates will open 90 minutes before kickoff at 5:30 p.m.
- FCC will offer a happy hour from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Saturday, on the plaza outside Gate 2 by the UDF Kids Zone. Fans will be able to grab select 12 oz. cans for $5 specials and popcorn and pretzels can be purchased for $2.
- FC Cincinnati (10-3-4, 34 points, third place in United Soccer League’s Eastern Conference) versus Crystal Palace FC. kickoffs at 7 p.m.
- Post-match fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. The fireworks will be launched from on top of Fifth Third Arena and the Lindner Athletic Center.
Crystal Palace FC, known as "The Eagles," will be the first English club FC Cincinnati has played. Palace finished 15th in the Barclays Premier League this past season.
"This is a club with a tremendous history in the game at the highest level for many years. As a young club, it will present a huge challenge and a tremendous experience for our players and fans of FC Cincinnati," said Head Coach John Harkes, in May.
Palace, founded in 1905, are known their passionate supporters and its raucous home crowds. They play at Selhurst Park in South Norwood, London. Selhurst Park has a capacity of 26,255, which compares to the 40,000 that Nippert Stadium can hold.
"It's a trip that I think will be good for the club," said Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew, in a press release. "As we prepare for our upcoming Premier League season, we had a number of teams that want to play us and we've taken this opportunity to go to North America to spread the word of the type of football we play."
"The Eagles" have been practicing at the Bengals practice facility since their arrival in Ohio.
Cincinnati will be the second stop of a three-city tour of North American as part of Palace's preseason.
"The Eagles" opened their tour Wednesday with a scoreless draw against Philadelphia. After Saturday's match, the club will travel to British Columbia, Canada for a game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
FC Cincinnati has already seen an historic season in its inaugural year in the USL. They set a USL attendance record when 23,375 fans saw the team beat Pittsburgh 1-0 in April.
If you get shutout of Nippert, you can catch the match on a live stream. The United Soccer League, FC Cincinnati and Crystal Palace are teaming up to over a live stream using Facebook Live.