UNC's Kenan Stadium to host soccer match between Chelsea, Ryan Reynolds' Wrexham
For the first time ever, international soccer is coming to UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan Stadium.
And Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds might be there to watch.
Wrexham AFC – the Welsh soccer club co-owned by Reynolds – will face off against Chelsea FC in a friendly match on July 19 at Kenan Stadium, home of the UNC Tar Heels’ football team.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public on April 27.
According to a news release, a portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic at UNC Children's Hospital.
“We are excited to bring Chelsea and Wrexham to Chapel Hill for this fun and historic event,” UNC-Chapel Hill Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming fans from all over the world, filling Kenan Stadium and creating a fantastic atmosphere for international competition.”
The match is being played as part of the “FC Series,” an international soccer exhibition hosted by United Events and Florida Citrus Sports. Last year, the event featured a sold-out match between Arsenal and Chelsea in Orlando, Florida.
“We are delighted to return to North Carolina as part of our US tour this summer, and play in what I'm sure will be a fantastic atmosphere at Kenan Stadium,” Chelsea FC President of Business Tom Glick said in a statement. Our strong US fanbase support us incredibly all year round and we are looking forward to meeting them in Chapel Hill.”
Before working at Chelsea, Glick was the President of the Carolina Panthers and owner David Tepper’s sports and entertainment company for more than four years.
Wrexham AFC was founded in 1864 and is one of the world’s oldest soccer clubs. It has been in the spotlight lately after it was purchased in 2020 by Reynolds and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” creator Rob McElhenney. Reynolds, McElhenney and the club were the subjects of the FX docuseries “Welcome To Wrexham.”
Chelsea plays in the Premier League, the highest tier of English soccer. Wrexham plays in the National League, the fifth tier. But if Wrexham wins this Saturday against Boreham Wood, they’ll be promoted to the fourth-tier Football League for the first time in 15 years.
Wrexham and Chelsea haven’t played each other since 1984.
Broadcast information and the official match start time will be announced later this year.
Some members of the Wrexham club will also play at a 7-on-7 soccer tournament at Cary’s WakeMed Soccer Park from May 31 to June 4. The two events are unrelated.