We decided to take an in-depth look at the upcoming friendly football (or soccer) matches in the United States this summer and what we found is that Americans love to see the world’s game. We looked at how prices for this year’s World Football Challenge compare to last year’s, which teams draw the most expensive matches, and how matches including MLS teams compared to matches between two international clubs. Here’s what we found:

This Year vs. Last- Steady Interest

• The average ticket to a 2012 World Football Challenge game on the secondary market is $141.08. This is right on pace with last year’s average ticket price of $140.22. This is a good indicator that soccer is doing well in the United States and more specifically that there is a high interest in seeing some of the top clubs in the world live. The $141.08 average is over $80 more than the $59.41 average ticket prices for all remaining MLB games this season.

Top Selling Matches

Real Madrid Santos Laguna WFC 2012 TicketsThe most expensive ticket for this season’s World Football Challenge is the August 5th matchup between Mexican Clausura 2012 champion Santos Laguna and 2011-12 La Liga Champion Real Madrid at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Tickets for this friendly are averaging an astonishing $281.38 on the secondary market. This crushes last year’s top-selling match between Manchester United and the MLS All-Stars (avg. ticket price $207.95).

Real Madrid AC Milan WFC 2012 TicketsTwo other matches compare to last year’s top-seller in average prices: the August 8th matchup of AC Milan and Real Madrid at Yankee Stadium (avg. price $219.89- the 2nd most expensive sporting event in Yankee Stadium history behind a 2010 ALCS Yankees-Rangers game) and the July 25th MLS All-Star game between Chelsea FC and the MLS All-Stars at PPL Park in Chester PA (avg. price $207.72).

Top 5 Most Expensive WFC Matches of 2012
1) $281.38: Real Madrid v. Santos Laguna (8/5) @ Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
2) $219.89: Real Madrid v. AC Milan (8/8) @ Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
3) $207.72: Chelsea FC v. MLS All-Stars (7/25) @ PPL Park, Chester, PA
4) $167.68Real Madrid @ LA Galaxy (8/2) @ Home Depot Center, Carson, CA
5) $126.60: Liverpool FC @ Toronto FC (7/21) @ Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON

Top 5 Most Expensive Matches WFC 2012

International Friendlies Outside of the WFC

AS Roma Liverpool Fenway Park TicketsThere are 10 World Football Challenge matches in North America this year, but also 12 other summer friendlies pitting international and MLS clubs. WFC match tickets are going for an average of $141.08, while non-WFC match tickets are averaging a still-respectable $94.89. The top two non-WFC matches are games between two international clubs, the July 25th showdown at Boston’s historic Fenway Park between AS Roma and Liverpool FC (avg. ticket $109.75) and the match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur on July 28th in Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium (avg. $103.69).

• MLS Teams are selling surprisingly well in summer friendlies when compared to international clubs. Friendlies that include one MLS club and one international club are averaging $116.71, which is only $10 less than friendlies between two international clubs, which average $126.84.

Country-by-Country Comparisons

• When we compare average ticket prices by country, American (MLS) teams fare quite well again. For countries that have at least two different clubs playing friendlies in the states this summer, the USA ranks only behind Italy in terms of average ticket prices for its clubs’ matches. Italian clubs average $125.15, USA $116.71, and English clubs only $111.76. Italy’s numbers are bolstered by the fact that only top clubs AC Milan and AS Roma are playing in the US this summer, while a wide variety of British and American clubs are in action.
Country by Country Average Ticket Prices Summer Friendlies

Team-by-Team Comparisons

LA Galaxy Tickets 2012In addition to having the most expensive match, the star-studded Real Madrid squad is also the overall top drawing international club of the summer. Their 4 matches average $176.94 per seat. That is over $20 more than the following team, AC Milan, at $150.32. Somewhat shockingly once again, the third most expensive team to see this summer is the LA Galaxy at an average of $137.67. That trumps the average prices for European powerhouses Chelsea FC, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool FC, AS Roma, and Tottenham Hotspur in friendlies.
Top Drawing Teams Summer Friendlies

Images courtesy of MLS, Ballparks of Baseball, and The Original Winger.