Soccer’s MLS All-Star Game likely to bring DC $11 million economic boost

Excitement is building in the nation’s capital for the Major League Soccer All-Star Game, which is set for Audi Field on Wednesday, July 19, when the MLS all-stars take on Arsenal F.C. of the English Premier League.

“All the world will see why we call ourselves the sports capital,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “We are thrilled to welcome visitors from around the globe to celebrate.”

While the District has hosted soccer All-Star Games in 2002 and 2004, this will be the first one at Audi Field, the home of D.C. United that opened in 2018 in Buzzard Point. The previous MLS All-Star Games in D.C. were held at RFK Stadium.

“Everybody wants this game,” Bowser said. “I’ve had the opportunity to really travel the world to bring one-of-a-kind sporting events to D.C. and I’m always proud when we’ve been selected for one.”

According to Events DC, the District’s convention and sports authority, about 20,000 people are expected at Wednesday’s game.

“That’s going to provide jobs and more experiences and support for our local residents and our local businesses,” said Angie Gates, CEO of Events DC. “We are estimating an economic impact of over $11 million.”

Metro announced that it is celebrating the event by releasing 10,000 special soccer All-Star Game SmarTrip cards, which riders can pick up at Navy Yard, Waterfront or L’Enfant Plaza stations.

People who want to take Metro to the game itself are encouraged to get off at Navy Yard or Waterfront.

“It’s actually a really quick walk from either one,” said Metro General Manager Randy Clarke.

Metro will also run a bus from Waterfront Station directly to Audi Field, going back and forth every 10 minutes.

“It has a global appeal like no other sporting event in the world,” said Elliott Ferguson, CEO of Destination DC, a group that markets the city as a travel destination.

“This is going to be good for us because the global community is going to see parts of Washington that perhaps they’ve never seen before,” Ferguson said.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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