MLS-Liga MX community camaraderie event


Allegiant Stadium will host Leagues Cup Finals for 2 years Image: Allegiant Stadium

The Major League Soccer (MLS) (US) and Liga MX (México) announced on July 13th that the breathtaking Allegiant Stadium – home of the National Football League’s (NFL’s) Las Vegas Raiders – and Las Vegas – have been awarded the 2021 and 2022 Final of Leagues Cup, the official annual single-elimination tournament that features clubs from MLS and México’s top-flight leagues, building on the rivalry between both leagues and offering fierce, high-level international competition for clubs and fans alike across North America.

The ‘MLS’ stated that the 2021 Leagues Cup Final will be played at Allegiant Stadium on September 22nd at 10:00 pm ET. Tickets to Leagues Cup Final will be announced in the coming weeks.

Leagues Cup is part of a larger partnership between MLS and Liga MX, rooted not only in the on-field rivalry, designed to strengthen the sport in the region, but by a true spirit of collaboration off it, with a focus on sharing best practices and on being a force for positive change in the local communities of both leagues.

Headquartered in New York City (US), Major League Soccer (MLS) – celebrating its 26th season in 2021 – features 27 clubs throughout the United States and Canada and will add expansion teams in Charlotte and St. Louis in the next two years. It is a men’s professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, which represents the sport’s highest level in the United States and Canada.

Liga MX is Mexican soccer’s first division, comprising 18 clubs throughout the country and headquartered in a sporting complex in Toluca, México. Administered by the Mexican Football Federation, there are plans to add two more teams. The season has two tournaments: Apertura, which starts in the summer, and Clausura, which starts in the winter.

Located adjacent to the world-famous Las Vegas Strip in the United States, Allegiant Stadium is a global events destination, highlighted by the arrival of the NFL’s iconic Raiders in 2020. Allegiant Stadium, which won the ‘Best Venue’ honors at the 2020 World Football Summit Industry Awards, is ideally located for both visitors and locals, fully enclosed and climate-controlled with a capacity of 65,000.

The MLS and Liga MX also confirmed on July 13th that they will host a community service project in Las Vegas to give back to the local community as part of Leagues Cup Final. Details of the event will be announced at a later date.

The ‘MLS’ quoted the MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, as stating, “As the partnership between MLS and Liga MX continues to grow in the coming years and demonstrate what is possible between our two leagues, the passionate soccer market of Las Vegas is the perfect host for the Leagues Cup Final in 2021 and 2022. The fans of the region have proven their love of the sport throughout the years, including a sellout of the upcoming Concacaf Gold Cup Final. We look forward to playing Leagues Cup at Allegiant Stadium, an incredible venue that has quickly become a destination for world-class soccer events.”

The Concacaf Gold Cup is an association football competition for men’s national football teams in North America, Central America and the Caribbean governed by the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).

Informed Mikel Arriola, Liga MX Executive President, “For Liga MX, Leagues Cup represents a very important step in our internationalization project. Sports competition against MLS and the possibility of reaching our great fans in the United States are a great opportunity for our institution and our clubs. Additionally, the fact that the City of Las Vegas and its spectacular new stadium are hosting the Grand Final is an extra motivation to fight on the pitch for a chance to be in the championship game and continue making history with a new Leagues Cup title.”

The Raiders President, Marc Badain, exulted, “We are thrilled to announce Allegiant Stadium as the home venue for the Leagues Cup Final. With the Gold Cup Final in August and now the Leagues Cup Final in September, top-flight international soccer celebrations are among the signature events to be held here in the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World.”

Remarked Steve Hill, CEO/President, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, “We’re delighted to welcome the Leagues Cup Final back to the Sports Capital of the World both this year and next year. Welcoming an event of this caliber is incredibly exciting for the destination, and we look forward to showing the teams and their fans the Only-in-Vegas experience they’ve come to expect.”

Lance Evans, MGM Resorts’ Senior Vice-President, Sports, noted, “Leagues Cup will be a great addition to the destination’s Fall sports programing. As the leader in the hospitality industry, we are focused on creating memorable guest experiences and anticipate a tremendous response from soccer fans from around the world.”

The 2021 chapter of Leagues Cup will feature Tigres UANL, Club Universidad Nacional also known as simply Pumas, Club León, and Santos Laguna for Liga MX, while Sporting Kansas City, Orlando City SC, Seattle Sounders FC, and New York City FC will represent MLS. Should Club León win Liga MX’s Campeón de Campeones 2020-2021 scheduled for July 18th, Club Deportivo Guadalajara S.A. de C.V. would replace León as the next best-ranked club in the combined standings.

The Campeón de Campeones (Champion of Champions) is an annual Mexican football competition established in 1942. In its current form, it is contested by the regular Liga MX season winners of the Apertura and Clausura.

The tournament, to be played in its entirety in the United States, is scheduled to begin on August 10th with quarterfinal matches. The semifinals are slated for September 14th-15th, before heading to Las Vegas for the final on September 22nd.

Beyond the rivalry, the Leagues Cup has taken on an increased focus for both MLS and Liga MX clubs. Concacaf recently announced that Leagues Cup will have a qualifying slot to the Concacaf Champions League, starting with the new format in 2023, positioning Leagues Cup as an important part of the North American soccer landscape.

Leagues Cup 2021 kicks off five weeks of MLS vs. Liga MX matchups in August and September, including the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on August 25th and closed out by Campeones Cup the last week of September.

The Major League Soccer All-Star Game is an annual soccer game held by Major League Soccer featuring selected players from the league against an international club.

The inaugural Leagues Cup first took place in 2019, in front of large, enthusiastic crowds across the United States, with Cruz Azul defeating Tigres UANL in an all-Liga MX final held at the 40,000-capacity Sam Boyd Stadium in Nevada, US.

Leagues Cup, sponsored by BODYARMOR, MGM Resorts International and Procter & Gamble, will be broadcast on Univision and ESPN networks and digital platforms in the United States, TSN and TVA Sports in Canada, and Televisa and TUDN platforms in Mexico.

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