Close to 42,000 soccer fans packed the stadium to watch Chelsea and Inter Milan play for the Guinness International Champions Cup.
Soccer has long been one of the most popular sports in the world, but has lingered in the backs of the minds of American sports fans for sometime. However, in recent years the sport has been steadily establishing a foothold in the U.S.
More and more high schools feature teams as do most colleges. Major League Soccer has been growing in popularity and even fair weather fans are riveted to their screens when the U.S. plays in the World Cup.
Of course when it comes to seeing some of the best in the world play it isn't too easy. Yeah, you can probably find games on cable somewhere and record them, but the chance to see them live just isn't possible without a really long trip.
But not Thursday--at least for folks in and around Indianapolis.
"Indianapolis has always been seen as a place that maybe isn't all about soccer, but it's becoming all about soccer and it's good to see that they're giving us that boost of confidence the city needs to bring more people in and show our support for soccer," said Danielle Smith, who coaches her son's soccer team.
It helps when game's like Thursday's between Chelsea and Inter Milan are good ones. Playing in the eight team tournament is something that helps promote the game even though the team's didn't necessarily use its best players. It gives the club a chance to get some work in before the began league play later this month.
So in the end it is a win-win-win. Fans in the U.S. get to see some great soccer. The game gets some well-deserved exposure , and the teams get some work in.
Not bad for a night's work.