Florida Cup and Fan Fest at I-Drive 360 Kickoff this Weekend

For Immediate Release:

Florida Cup and Fan Fest at I-Drive 360 Kickoff this Weekend

Event tickets and Fan Fest schedule available on www.floridacup.com

The Florida Cup, the largest international soccer tournament in the Sunshine State, kicks into action this weekend with a double-header at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, starting at 2 p.m. ET.

The tournament’s opening match will feature Argentine powerhouse Estudiantes de la Plata with the return of former Manchester United and national team legend Juan Sebastián Verón, against top Bundesliga club and major UEFA Champions League contenders Bayer 04 Leverkusen, led by Mexican star Javier “Chicharito” Hernández.

The full schedule and tickets for each match are available at www.floridacup.com.

Before a ball is kicked, however, the fun and excitement begins Saturday night at the Florida Cup Fan Fest at I-Drive Orlando. The Fan Fest will feature 16 days of entertainment, music, food and more – all in celebration of the beautiful game. Nightly entertainment will be provided by celebrity DJ’s, musical acts and a special 60-minute concert at the final night of Florida Cup Fan Fest by the Brazilian-born Top 25 DJ in the world, Alok, at the I-Drive 360 Coca-Cola Orlando Eye.

A full schedule of acts is available at www.floridacup.com/fanfest.

"The Florida Cup is a world class event showcasing the highest level of professional soccer," said Florida Cup CEO Ricardo Villar. "It provides the participating teams with excellent competition as they prepare for their own campaigns, while providing significant international exposure for brands and Central Florida. But most importantly, fans can enjoy 15 days of elite competition as well as premier entertainment at the Florida Cup Fan Fest."

Fans are encouraged to check the site for updates, as well as follow the tournament on social media through Facebook (@FLCup), Instagram (@florida_cup) and Twitter (@florida_cup).

The Florida Cup has become the largest annual sporting event in Florida after only two editions with live broadcasted matches to 171 countries in 2016, a number expected to be broken in 2017. The event this year brings 12 clubs from seven different countries, totaling a fan base of over 100 million fans.

The Florida Cup features two distinct formats in 2017:

●  FC Challenge – A Davis Cup-modeled competition similar to the format during the Florida Cup’s debut in 2015, with Clubs representing Countries, each vying for points to secure the tournament title for their home nation. This phase will occur from Jan. 8 – Jan. 15.

●  FC Playoff – A single-elimination round of international teams where only one remaining champion will thrive. This phase will occur from Jan. 15 – Jan 21.

About the Florida Cup:

The Florida Cup is the largest international sporting event held annually in Central Florida. Broadcast live to over 170 countries, the tournament reaches over 650 million households. Globally recognized soccer clubs from four different continents will convene in Central Florida for this premier tournament – a final tune-up before the start of their respective campaigns. For more information on the Florida Cup, visit www.floridacup.com, or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About I-Drive 360:

I-Drive 360 is a new $250 million entertainment complex and home to the iconic Coca-Cola Orlando Eye observation wheel.

Located in the heart of Orlando’s popular International Drive, I-Drive 360 features a mix of attractions, restaurants, clubs and shops.  Joining the Orlando Eye is a spectacular SEA LIFE Aquarium and Madame Tussauds wax attraction, all operated by Merlin Entertainments. Skeletons Museum joins the attraction lineup with over 500 skeletons of animals from around the world.  Popular restaurants include Yard House, Tapa Tora, Kotai Sushi Bar, Paramount Mediterranean Cuisine, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Shake Shack and Sugar Factory.  High energy entertainment is featured nightly at Tin Roof and Cowgirls Rockbar. A lush courtyard featuring a $1.5 million water show, set to lively music, completes I-Drive 360 as the centerpiece of the complex.  Free parking is available in a covered multi-level facility.  For more information, visit www.i-drive360.com.

– Florida Cup –