Chelsea vs Wrexham at UNC's Kenan Stadium: What to know before you arrive

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Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Chelsea vs Wrexham at UNC's Kenan Stadium: What to know before you arrive
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Two soccer teams with a combined age of 276 years will play a match in Chapel Hill's Kenan Stadium, which is a mere 95 years old.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two soccer teams with a combined age of 276 years will play a match in Chapel Hill's Kenan Stadium, which is a mere 95 years old.

Chelsea Football Club will face off against Wrexham Association Football Club on July 19 at 7:30 p.m. It's part of the 2023 FC Series, which brings international soccer teams to play friendly matches in the United States.

This match will be the first time in history that an international soccer match will be held at Kenan Stadium, and it will also be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN+. On July 12, crews began replacing the turf on the football field with the grass surface that will be used for the soccer match.

The match will be the first-ever neutral-site meeting between Chelsea and Wrexham, teams that have been around since 1905 and 1864 respectively. The two teams have played 10 times through the years with Chelsea winning five and three matches ending in draws; this match will be their first meeting since 1984.

RELATED | Chelsea vs Wrexham: Chapel Hill preps lots of traffic, lots of people


A level 1 risk for severe weather covers all of North Carolina. The storms will be isolated, but they could be strong.

The highest chance for rain is around mid afternoon. That chance is about 40 percent. By the time the match at Kenan Stadium begins, the chance for storms will drop to around 10-20 percent.

The temperature at kickoff will be 85 degrees and that will fall to around 77 degrees by the end of the match.


The match is sold out and will bring tens of thousands of people to Chapel Hill. Event organizers said anyone in the area on the afternoon or evening of July 19 should plan ahead.

Parking in Chapel Hill can always be a challenge, especially during sporting events.

For this event, UNC said "no parking is available for sale at parking lots on match day." Instead, people wanting to park on campus will have to buy a parking pass ahead of time through the Carolina Athletics website.

The parking permits for sale will allow cars to access the assigned parking lot as early as 5:30 p.m. Parking permits for the on-campus lots range in price from $40-80. Parking permits for the park and ride lots are SOLD OUT as of Tuesday, July 18.

Shuttles for the park and ride lots start at 5:30 p.m. They depart when full or ever 10 to 15 minutes. Return service from the stadium to the lots end approximately 45 minutes after the game.


Traffic in Chapel Hill can be a headache during any sporting event.

Organizers expect traffic to be heaviest between 4-8 p.m. and then again between 10-11:30 p.m.

Ride Share

Ride share services like Uber and Lyft can drop off and pick up riders at the South Columbia bus lane located between Manning Drive and South Road, which leaves you about a 5-minute walk to Kenan Stadium.

Kenan Stadium Policies

Fans are encouraged to leave all bags at home, but if you must bring a bag they must be smaller than 4.5'' x 6.5'' or be clear plastic/vinyl and not larger than 12'' x 6'' x 12''.

Necessary medical items brought to the stadium will be inspected at the entry gates.

Some items not allowed inside Kenan Stadium include coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, luggage, computer bags, camera bags, alcoholic beverages, artificial noise makers, baby seats, large bags, balloons, banners and signs, beach balls, explosives, fireworks, folding chairs, food and beverages (except sealed plastic water bottles), illegal drugs, laser pointers, pets (except service animals), strollers (non-collapsible), umbrellas, weapons of any kind, any other item that in the judgment of game management staff poses a safety hazard or detracts from the ability of others to enjoy the event.

Stadium security will also respond to any complaints of fan misconduct and have the ability to evict or arrest fans for fighting, being intoxicated, throwing objects or doing other things that may disrupt the game or game day experience for other fans. Patrons can tweet @GoHeelsGameDay, text 919-238-9894 or reach out in person to any stadium staff member to report any issues.