FedExField, located on the East Coast of the United States — just outside Washington, DC in Landover, Maryland — is set to play host to an intruguing international football matchup when FC Barcelona square off with Chelsea FC on 28 July in the International Champions Cup. With an official capacity 79,000, the stadium has the fourth most seats in the NFL. FedExField can accomodate up to 6,000 more people in areas designated for standing-room only and with expanded seating options for concerts or other events.
While many professional sports stadiums, especially in the NFL, have moved to hybrid playing surfaces featuring natural grass intertwined with artificial fibres to add strength and durability, FedExField has a completely natural sod pitch of Latitude 36 Bermuda Grass — a modern development incorporating special characteristics that make it not only functional and able to withstand both very hot summers and bitterly cold winters but also aesthetically pleasing.
As for the game that Americans call 'soccer,' FedExField has been the scene of several high-profile games over its relatively short history. In the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, six matches — four in the group stage and two in the quarter-finals — were held there. The last time football was played at FedExField was on 28 March of this year when Argentina, led by Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano — neither of whom played a single minute that day — fell to El Salvador 2–0 in an international friendly.
FC Barcelona played at FedExField during their last North American tour in the summer of 2011. Just a few months after defeating Manchester United in the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium in London, England, the Red Devils got their revenge, defeating the Catalans in Landover by a score of 2–1.