(WXYZ) - They are welcoming an invasion of red and white in the land of blue and gold as Ann Arbor hosts the International Champions Cup weekend.
It’s all tied to Saturday’s huge soccer match between Real Madrid and Manchester United, two of the biggest and best teams on the global soccer scene.
The game will be played before more than 100,000 fans at a sold-out Michigan Stadium, with millions more watching on television.
Fans from across southeast Michigan are in Ann Arbor enjoying the festivities and expressing their excitement about the game.
“It’s (bigger) than the Super Bowl! It’s crazy!” said Hakim Boukhatmi of Dearborn. Boukhatmi is big Real Madrid fan. His girlfriend, Stephanie Cisneros of Novi, likes another team, but consented to becoming a Real Madrid fan for the weekend.
“I try to be supportive,” said Cisneros.
“It’s a big game,” said Joe Crachiola of St. Claire Shores. “We’re excited to see two big clubs go against each other."
Even young soccer fans are excited. Adonis Farah’s family made the drive from Grand Blanc.
“They’re really good teams and some of my favorite players are on both teams,” said Farah. He mentioned Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo is very big with the ladies. When asked if she was in Ann Arbor for the soccer or something else, one woman replied, with dreamy eyes, “I’m just here for Ronaldo. Just Ronaldo.”
On the eve of the big game, the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is hosting a huge block party, similar to an event held last winter prior to the NHL’s Winter Classic hockey game.
“I think the pre game celebration for the International Champions Cup came to fruition because of the success we had with the Winter Classic,” said AAACVB marketing director Laura Berarducci. “We received so much positive feedback from the community and our out-of-town guests that we jumped at an opportunity to help draw people in again.”
There is a stage with live bands and a special photo booth available to fans. They can also have dinner at any number of restaurants.
The street party celebration officially ends at 11:00 PM on Friday night, but Berarducci said that it could easily extend past midnight. The party is on South Main Street between East William Street and Huron Street in Downtown Ann Arbor.