Six Major League Soccer teams to train at Bradenton's IMG Academy

cschelle@bradenton.comOctober 21, 2013 

BRADENTON -- IMG Academy will bring six Major League Soccer teams plus international teams for spring training and pre-season games in 2014.

The one-year agreement will bring MLS teams Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls for spring training plus international teams, including Malmo FF from Sweden, said Chris Ciaccio, vice president of marketing and outreach for IMG Performance, a division of IMG Worldwide.

IMG Academy, 5500 34th St. W, is working to bring two additional MLS teams plus other international clubs, Ciaccio said. The spring training would take place mainly in the new IMG stadium, located off of the academy's entrance on Bollietieri Boulevard and 53rd Avenue West.

As part of the partnership, IMG will not charge MLS and the international teams to use IMG's facilities, Ciaccio said, and 25 percent of the net proceeds from the games will e donated to the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp.

The Manatee County Tourist Development Council also unanimously approved today to dedicate $125,000 budget item pegged for international sports public relations promotions for the IMG-MLS partnership.

For more, read tomorrow's Bradenton Herald and Bradenton.com

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