Tickets for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Belize and Mexico will go on sale to the general public on Monday, May 5 beginning at 10 a.m. The match is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 15 at Reliant Stadium.
Tickets for the first-ever World Cup qualifier in Houston will range from $30-75 and will be available at all TicketMaster outlets, including all Houston-area Fiesta stores. Fans may also purchase tickets online at www.ticketmaster.com
, over the phone at 713-629-3700 or at the Reliant Stadium box office. Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets together by calling 832-667-2390.
The match will be the first FIFA World Cup qualifier to be played in Houston. The match is the first of a home-and-home series between the nations as they begin the quest to compete in the FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa in 2010. Belize will be the home team for the match, with the teams set to face off in Mexico on Saturday, June 21, 2008.
This match marks the beginning of the second round of World Cup qualifying. Belize defeated St. Kitts and Nevis by an aggregate score of 4-2 in round one, while Mexico had a bye in the first round. There are four rounds of qualifying which will conclude next summer, when the top three teams from the CONCACAF region will qualify for World Cup South Africa 2010 and the fourth place team will play a home-and-home series against the fifth place CONMEBOL team for one final spot.
The match will also mark Belize’s debut in the city. Mexico will be making their third trip to Houston in the last 12 months and sixth overall. They played a pair of matches in Houston during last summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup and faced the United States in a friendly match in February. Mexico made their Houston debut versus the United States on May 8, 2003. They played a pair of CONCACAF Gold Cup matches in Houston in 2005 and faced Bulgaria on November 16, 2005.
For the second consecutive year, Reliant Stadium will host a major international soccer event featuring the Mexican men’s national team on Father’s Day. In 2007, the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal matches were played on Sunday, June 17. Mexico defeated Costa Rica, 1-0, and Guadeloupe topped Honduras, 2-1, before a crowd of 70,092—the third-largest soccer crowd in Texas history (see chart below).
Likely making his debut in official international competition will be new Mexico coach Jesus Ramirez. Mexico will play three friendly matches under Ramirez – all in the United States – but the match against Belize will be his first in a competitive setting. Mexico defeated China, 1-0, in Seattle on April 16 and will face Argentina in San Diego on June 4 and Peru in Chicago on June 8.