Arsenal have confirmed that Arsene Wenger’s squad will play Manchester City in Beijing’s iconic Bird’s Nest stadium on the Chinese leg of a globetrotting pre-season tour.
Having toured the Far East last summer, in a move which is understood to have been very successful on a commercial level, Ivan Gazidis and his team have been very pro-active in arranging a follow-up visit to the region.
The game will take place on July 27th, three weeks after the final of Euro 2012 and on the same day as the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games. The Premier League is not expected to start until August 18th affording Pat Rice plenty of time to organise a few shuttle-runs in the Alps.
Speaking to the Arsenal website Gazidis confirmed the exciting details:
“Further to our hugely successful visit to Hangzhou in 2011, everyone at Arsenal is extremely excited to once again be visiting China this year.
“We enjoy huge support in Asia and by playing a match in Beijing, we will once again be bringing the Club close to our loyal fans in China. The players and staff had an amazing time in China last year and we are all looking forward to visiting this great country again in July.
“The match against Manchester City is sure to be an exciting spectacle, with many great players from both sides playing in front of thousands of supporters in the wonderful ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium. It is also fitting that two English clubs are playing each other on the opening day of the London 2012 Olympics, in the stadium which hosted the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.”
Further friendlies are expected to take place in both Hong Kong and Nigeria as Arsenal look to make up the revenue lost from having to cancel the Emirates Cup weekend due to police shortages around the capital during the Olympics.