English giant Chelsea to play Wrexham in historic match in Chapel Hill

WTVD logo
Thursday, April 20, 2023
ABC11 24/7 Streaming Channel
Watch Eyewitness News, First Alert Weather, and original programming.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- For the first time, international soccer is coming to Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill.

English Premier League stalwart Chelsea will meet Welsh side Wrexham in Chapel Hill on July 19 as part of the 2023 FC Series.

We are excited to bring Chelsea and Wrexham to Chapel Hill for this fun and historic event," said University of North Carolina Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham. "We look forward to welcoming fans from all over the world, filling Kenan Stadium and creating a fantastic atmosphere for international competition."

Group and single-match sale information is available at FCSeries.com. Public tickets go on sale April 27.

A portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic at UNC Children's Hospital.

"We are delighted to return to North Carolina as part of our US tour this summer, and play in what I'm sure will be a fantastic atmosphere at Kenan Stadium," said Chelsea FC President of Business Tom Glick. "Our strong US fanbase support us incredibly all year round and we are looking forward to meeting them in Chapel Hill."

London-based Chelsea brings star power to the field, highlighted by Argentine World-Cup-winning midfielder Enzo Fernandez and budding Portuguese star Joao Felix as well as U.S. national team star Christian Pulisic and England fixtures Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount

Wrexham, a historic Welsh club, has gained a cult following in recent years after the team was bought in 2020 by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. The "Red Dragons" are one of the oldest teams in the world (founded in 1864) and currently sit top of the table in the National League, England's fifth tier.

The club and its celebrity owners are the subjects of the hit docuseries "Welcome to Wrexham."

"Our tour of the United States will be an exciting part of the summer's build-up to the new season and something we will all be looking forward to in July," said Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson. "To have the opportunity to play a team of Chelsea's caliber at the Kenan Stadium, North Carolina, will be a terrific test for our players and form an important part of our preparations for the 2023/24 season. We're looking forward to meeting some of the fans who have supported us so passionately from afar this season at a renowned athletics stadium."

Chelsea was founded in 1905 and is one of the world's most popular clubs, "The Blues" are five-time champions of the Premier League and won the FIFA Club World Cup in 2022. Chelsea has two UEFA Champions League titles, most recently in 2021, and was just eliminated Tuesday in this year's competition by defending European and world club champions Real Madrid.

RELATED: Wrexham to compete in 7-on-7 soccer tournament in Cary

The two teams have played 10 times through the years with Chelsea winning five with three matches ending in draws, The FC Series match will be their first meeting since 1984.

Kenan Stadium has hosted soccer before, notably, the University of North Carolina's first national championship in women's sports when the 1981 UNC women's soccer team won 1-0 against the University of Central Florida.

This summer's FC Series schedule also includes the Orlando stop of the Premier League Summer Series when Fulham and Aston Villa meet on July 26. Additional FC Series and Florida Cup events will be announced later this year.

Broadcast information and the official kickoff time will be announced later this year, but the game is planned for the evening.