Notre Dame, Liverpool excited for summer soccer match

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The big news came Tuesday: European soccer powerhouses Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund will play a friendly at Notre Dame Stadium on July 19th.

It'll be the first international soccer game ever played at the House That Rockne Built, which is quickly expanding from just a football stadium.

In October, they hosted the first-ever concert at the historic stadium when Garth Brooks came to town, and in January, Notre Dame Stadium was transformed into a hockey arena, when the Blackhawks and Bruins played in the NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day.

Now, we can add soccer to the list of events this stadium has held, and both Notre Dame and Liverpool couldn't be more thrilled.

"We are very excited to welcome the two football clubs for the first international friendly at Notre Dame Stadium," Notre Dame vice president of university enterpsies and events Micki Kidder said. "We think it's going to be a phenomenal opportunity to have some great competitive sport on the field, but also to welcome a stadium full of guests here to the University of Notre Dame."

"It's such an iconic stadium," Former Liverpool defender Phil Babb said. "It's a pleasure to be here, and just witness the scale of this, over 77,000 people here in July is going to be something amazing. It's a different type of crowd, different type of atmosphere that you get at a soccer match. They do not stop singing, and it'll be a party atmosphere, so I really am looking forward to it."

The university is excited not only for the exposure it'll bring to Notre Dame, but also the effect the game will have on the local community.

"There's so many constituents in the South Bend community and beyond that can benefit this," Kidder said. "Obviously, the competitive play on the field, that's going to be attractive and engaging for so many audiences. Our local community, the youth soccer clubs, there's a lot for them to learn from that. Welcoming people to Notre Dame Stadium who have never been here before to have fun at the end of the day is a really core priority at the end of the day, but to celebrate community, and to celebrate family, and there's so much this sport has to offer. We're bringing together these beautiful things of competitive sport, the great values of this university, and the partnership with Liverpool."

For Liverpool, the July 19th match will be the first of three stops on their annual International Tour. They will also play at Fenway Park in Boston and Yankee Stadium in New York City.

The Reds have come to the states in prior years for these summer preseason tune-ups, and they say they hope to create some new fans this summer.

"The support we get here is unbelievable," Babb said. "They're so passionate and it's a friendly type of support. We've traveled to Asia, we've done Europe, but coming over here is something special. Obviously, we have American owners and they have kind of paved the path, but it's about the celebration of football over here and bringing on new fans, joining the Liverpool family, and it's a chance for the club and the players to give some of it back, and it's a thank you really, to come over here and showcase their talent and skills."

Liverpool will play Borussia Dortmund in a friendly at Notre Dame Stadium on Friday, July 19th at 8pm.

Tickets go on sale Friday morning at 10am. They will range in price from $50-600.