Saturday’s friendly between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid drew 82,026 fans at AT&T Stadium, the highest-attended soccer match ever at the Dallas venue. The game ended in a 3-0 Barcelona victory and is yet another indication of soccer’s growing U.S. popularity.
It was also the most attendance for an El Clásico match on U.S. soil. The historic La Liga rivalry has now been played three times in the U.S. after last summer’s match at Allegiant Stadium and the inaugural 2017 match at Hard Rock Stadium, the new home of Lionel Messi.
Private equity giant Sixth Street, which invested in FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, organized El Clásico at AT&T Stadium for the firm’s Soccer Champions Tour. The eight-game summer tour includes U.S. exhibition matches between Juventus, AC Milan, Arsenal, and Manchester United, played through August 2.
AT&T’s Stadium’s record-setting night could also send a message to FIFA supporting the venue’s chances to host the 2026 World Cup Final. Dallas, New York/New Jersey, and Los Angeles are considered favorites to host the final.
Sixth Street’s other sports investments include its stakes in the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and Northern California NWSL expansion club Bay FC.
Coinciding with Sixth Street’s Soccer Champions Tour has been the Premier League’s Summer Series, another U.S.-based tournament between European powerhouses that debuted this year. The eight-day inaugural EPL series occurred across five U.S. stadiums from July 22-30, featuring clubs Aston Villa, Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea, Fulham, and Newcastle United.