Photos from Manchester United/Real Madrid at the Big House

109,318 futbol fans crammed into the Big House this afternoon to watch Real Madrid and Manchester United square off in an international friendly match. A new US soccer attendance record. And yet another crowd record for Michigan Stadium.

The entire event was a huge hit. From what I saw, everything seemed to go off without any hitch. After the Big Chill in 2010 and the Red Wings/Maple Leafs Winter Classic on New Years Day this year, it would seem that Michigan is getting pretty good at hosting these premier non-football events at the Big House.

A couple thoughts. First, despite how quiet it was early on, the fans really seemed to be into the spectacle of the event. Once goals started being scored, I think that helped. The energy was high.

The event was granted a single-day liquor license to sell beer/alcohol. I saw a couple police interventions in the crowd, which I'm sure had something to do with fan intoxication. I would imagine the $10 price tag for 20oz of beer would keep folks from going too overboard.

The halftime entertainment by The Fray seemed to go well. It was a little quiet from press row, but the trampoline jumpers flanking the stage were pretty cool.

No fireworks, though :(

The highlight of the day was Cristano Ronaldo coming into the game in the 2nd half. Once they showed him on the big screens warming up, the fans lost their minds. After the announcement was made yesterday that he would not play, seeing him come into the game was a special treat for the crowd. Crazy how popular that guy is.

I applied for a photographer credential to cover the event, for which I was approved. But once I arrived, I was given a pressbox pass. So, having a bunch of camera gear and very little blogger/pressbox gear (laptop), I made the best of the situation.

I was able to get a few good shots, which you can see below by clicking a thumbnail to engage large slideshow mode.


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