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Posted at 02:37 PM ET, 05/24/2011

Washington Redskins executive looks ahead to Manchester United-Barcelona friendly in July at FedEx Field

A few days ago, I chatted with Mitch Gershman, chief marketing officer for the Washington Redskins, who arranged the Manchester United vs. Barcelona friendly July 30 at their home stadium, FedEx Field in Landover.

Some things you should know:

*Although the match is essentially sold out, marketing partners and other groups do, on occasion, return tickets. The Redskins, in turn, make them available on Ticketmaster.com. They have also begun to sell individual seats in some of the 250 private suites.

D.C. United has a stack of tickets, but to acquire them, you’ll need to purchase a prorated season package. You can also find tickets on Stubhub.com, priced between $175 and – gulp -- $11,370. Because of various logistical issues, overall attendance will probably reach 88,000 in a facility that lists capacity as 91,704.

And unlike many Redskins games in recent years, there won't be many no-shows.

For much more.....

Before tickets were put on sale to the general public, about 30,000 were claimed by Redskins season ticket holders, marketing partners, supporters clubs and D.C. United season ticket holders. Most of the rest were sold within two weeks. A usual pre-sale for a non-NFL game at FedEx is closer to 20,000, Gershman said.

Despite the sellout, the Redskins could’ve made even more money off this match had they invited one of these high-profile teams instead of two.

How? With two big clubs, two lucrative appearance fees were paid out. With one involved – and an opponent such as D.C. United or a smaller foreign team – only one large appearance fee would’ve been necessary. And though the match wouldn’t have been as appealing, the presence of either Manchester United or Barcelona might’ve come close to a sellout anyway. “Quality of the event over economics,” Gershman said.

Not that the Redskins needed any help selling tickets, but with Manchester United and Barcelona advancing to this Saturday’s European Champions League final, “we couldn’t have written a better script,” he said.

Gershman said he and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder first discussed a Manchester United visit to FedEx Field last year with United boss Malcolm Glazer, the American who also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Working with marketing and promotion firms, the Redskins are looking to arrange other high-profile matches in 2012 and beyond.

*Other than Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, who will have just completed Argentina duty at Copa America and is questionable for the U.S. tour, most of the first-team players are expected to participate, Gershman said.

*One of the ESPN channels is expected to carry the match live, starting at 7 p.m. ET.

*The Redskins will re-sod the field following the Kenny Chesney concert June 4.

By  |  02:37 PM ET, 05/24/2011

Tags:  Washington Redskins, FC Barcelona, Manchester United

 
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