The United States and Mexico will play a friendly on Feb. 6, 2008 in Houston's Reliant Stadium. It became official when US Soccer announced the match today.
Here are some details: the game will start at 8 p.m. local time, 6 p.m. for us out here on the West Coast, and it will be broadcast on ESPN2 and Univision. Prices range from $35-165, with some "special" seats on sale for $275. According to US Soccer, the seating arrangement will be split into a US section, a Mexico section and a neutral section.
Initial thoughts: I wouldn't pay $165 for a friendly unless it came with a free iPod. $35 perhaps but then you'll be sitting in the last seat of the last row of the section farthest away from the field.
The seating arrangements are presumably to thwart any possible violence in the stands, I'm assuming. The US fans will likely take up a miniscule percentage of the seats, as always happens at US-Mexico games in Texas, California, Arizona, Illinois. Maybe they'll put the US fans in one of the end sections.
Still, the game probably will sell out despite the high prices. At that time of the year, fans will be dying to see their national teams in action. Mexico last played in October and probably won't play again until February. The U.S. will play Sweden a few weeks before but that will be with the MLS-based USMNT players. Plus, the usual fervor US-Mexico brings will help drive ticket sales as well.
As far as the revenue that will be generated from this match, I can't imagine it will be less than a million dollars. I may be way off here but when you add in the ticket revenue, parking, concessions, television advertising (from Spanish- and English-language networks), that's a shitload of money.
Both federations wised up to the fact that US-Mexico is a cash cow and both federations stand to gain quite a lot of money by playing each other regularly. Now, it's not to say that they haven't played each other because they have. But a lot of the US-Mexico games in recent years have been in official tournaments or World Cup qualifying matches. They played the friendly in Arizona early this year but the previous friendly they played was in 2004. They did not play friendlies in '05 or '06. It'll be interesting to see if they play a friendly to kick off 2009, being that they will play twice in qualifying during the year.