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English Premier League comes to Maryland

Posted at 7:36 PM, Jun 07, 2024

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The top soccer league, the English Premier League, is coming to Annapolis next month.

On July 31, Navy-Marine Corps Stadium hosts the Stateside Cup when Crystal Palace takes on the Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"The competition will be fierce. Two Premier League clubs going at it, and the standard is really, really high," says Todd Newton, senior marketing manager for the Wolves.

Newton says the game gives locals an opportunity to see the best in the world.

"The Premier League is the most watched futbol league in the world. It has grown massively. That is one, from an exposure point of view, from the amount of people that have watched it. Two, from a quality point of view. It’s a lot faster, it’s really quick, it’s engaging. It’s exciting it’s entertaining," says Newton.

Terry Hassletine, the executive director with the Maryland Sports Commission, says working to bring this game here started with a connection with the English Premiere League a summer ago. The goal is to ensure Annapolis is a gateway to international soccer in the state.

“This is such a ripe soccer market, and our goal is to make sure the citizens, and the residents of the state of Maryland, are getting a chance to see primetime sports at levels outside what is domestic to the United States," says Hassletine.

Bringing this exhibition game to Annapolis is a huge boost for the city.

"It’s gonna bring thousands of people into the area. I know people are going to want to come and stay the night and then go to the game the next day or stay the night of the game. It’s going to fill up the restaurants. People are gonna go shopping and they’ll be great fun people here. Just another great reason to come to Annapolis," said Gavin Buckley, Annapolis Mayor.

Newton says Annapolis has a European feel to it and calls it home away from home.

Aside from the anticipation of bringing the franchise back to the states for the first time in over four decades, they're excited to host a Premiere League game at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.

"We could play games in England all year round if we wanted to. But we wanted to come somewhere that has the character of the country that we are in and I think...it’s a stadium that we typically wouldn’t play in. The backdrop is different, so from my visual standpoint having a club play there is a real strong hook," says Newton.

The hope is a game will be held at the stadium annually.