Soccer fans flock to Soldier Field for MLS All-Star Game

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some of the best soccer players in the world will be competing in Chicago Wednesday night and they're bringing lots of fans with them to Soldier Field.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel officially welcomed the Major League Soccer All-Star Game to the city Wednesday morning.

"Soccer is part of our sports culture as a city. We know our baseball teams. We know our football team. We're also very proud of our soccer team, which is doing tremendous in their competition right now. Not just the competition on the field, but the competition in the way they give back to our kids," Emanuel said.

It will be a huge event. Tens of thousands of soccer fans dished out a lot of money to attend.

The game pits the All-Stars' best players against Spanish superpower Real Madrid.

Fans funneled into Soldier Field Tuesday to watch Real Madrid and the All-Stars in open training sessions.

The mayor also joined the United Soccer Coaches to announce that Chicago will host the organization's convention for three upcoming years, in 2019, 2025 and 2031. The convention brings together more than 12,000 members of the soccer community for five days each January.

Meanwhile, the All-Star Game brings together some top talent. The Chicago Fire Soccer Club will host.

"It's a great opportunity to play against a team like Real Madrid. To have the game at Soldier Field, especially for us, means a lot. I think also for the people here in Chicago. I'm just looking forward to these kinds of games, at the highest level," said Bastian Schweinsteiger, Chicago Fire, MLS All-Star midfielder.

The city said events like the MLS All-Star Game are helping Chicago continue to shatter tourism records.

The teams will take the field at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The game is sold out, but tickets are on resale on Ticketmaster with prices ranging from $250 to $600.
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