This summer’s International Champions Cup (ICC) will feature the first El Clásico meeting between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid on US soil, and the organizers have stepped up to deliver a halftime performance worthy of the occasion. In that spirit, the tournament announced on Wednesday that Marc Anthony will perform during the intermission of the match in Miami on July 29th.
— Vanessa Borge (@VanessaBorge) May 3, 2017
While Anthony has performed at awards shows and sporting events before—he even performed “America the Beautiful” at the pre-game show for Super Bowl 36 in New Orleans—this is shaping up to be his most-watched performance ever. Normal Clásicos average an audience of around 400 million people per telecast, a figure that the Miami Clásico is unlikely to reach. However, if even half of that number tunes in for a historic match such as the first US Clásico, it will easily clinch top Anthony’s other performances in viewership.
The New York-born singer will also become the first artist to perform at an ICC match since the tournament’s inception in 2013. The seven-time Latin Grammy Awards winner is a part-owner of the Miami Dolphins, whose owner, Stephen Ross, is one of the co-founders of the tournament, alongside his sports venture firm, Relevent Sports.
On top of landing Anthony for the halftime show, the ICC managed to organize a Clásico on foreign soil, which is a huge accomplishment on its own; this will be only the second Clásico held outside of Spain, and the first-ever to come to the United States. The last time Barcelona and Real Madrid faced off in a foreign country was in Venezuela in 1982, a game that Real Madrid won by the score of 1-0, thanks to a goal from future World Cup-winning manager Vicente del Bosque. Getting a Latin music legend like Anthony to perform at halftime is the cherry on top of what should be a hectic and crowded weekend in South Florida.
It’s not all roses for the organizers of the tournament, however; in the run-up to the match, fans have complained about the high ticket prices for the Clásico, with the cheapest tickets on resale markets reaching into the $400 range.