Ice House

A Huge-Across-the-Pond Game Is Coming to Houston

On July 20, the Manchester Derby will be played outside of England—and here in the Bayou City—for the first time in its 136-year history.

By Katharine Shilcutt June 22, 2017 Published in the July 2017 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Man U's Paul Pogba

On July 20, a monumentally historic sporting event will take place. The Manchester Derby—modern-day sports’ original cross-town rivalry—will be played outside of England for the very first time in its 136-year history. Manchester United will meet Manchester City on the pitch as part of the 2017 International Champions Cup (ICC), and it will happen right here in Houston at NRG Stadium, which can hold over 70,000 crazed football fans at once.

Now in its fourth year, the ICC has successfully assembled some of Europe’s best clubs for exhibition games across the U.S., China and, this year, Singapore. More than anything, it’s an attempt to stoke enthusiasm for the sport in less-saturated markets, which is to say it’s not, like, the World Cup or anything. That said, the chance to see the world’s best teams playing each other—for fun or not—is a multimillion-dollar draw for fans. Below, a few stats to get you up to speed in advance of the 175th match-up between Man U and City:

$115 million

Transfer fee paid by United to Italian club Juventus last year, for the most exciting Frenchman to play for the team since the gloriously unhinged Eric Cantona: Paul Pogba, better known as the most expensive footballer ever.


Derby goals scored by Cantona across four seasons


Transfer fee paid by City for United’s Joe Cassidy in 1900

$869 million

Total cost of the combined roster of both City and United during a September 2016 derby game played at Old Trafford, billed as “the most expensive game ever played.”

$453 million

Cost of United’s roster (including Pogba’s $115 million fee and superstar Wayne Rooney’s $35 million contract)

$416 million

Cost of City's roster


Number of times United have won the Manchester Derby

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Man City's Sergio Agüero

Image: Shutterstock


Number of times City have won


Number of times the match has ended in a draw


Derbies won in a row by United during a streak that lasted from February 1990 to April 2001


City players banned from the team after a bribery scandal in 1906


Banned City players who went on to play for United the next year

$3.32 billion

Total worth of Manchester United, the fifth most valuable sports team in the world 

$1.92 billion

Total worth of Manchester City, the 28th most valuable sports team in the world

$1 billion

Amount borrowed by Malcolm Glazer, an American businessman, to purchase United in 2005


Super Bowl championship won by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the other sports team owned by the Glazer family


Premier League championships won by United, more than any other English football team 

International Champions Cup: Manchester United vs. Manchester City, July 20 at 8:30 p.m. NRG Stadium, $70–950,

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