If Birmingham-Wrexham played in USA, what would it look like?

For the 2024/25 League One campaign, Birmingham City FC has requested to play newly promoted Wrexham in the United States. Both sides have American, or at least North American, ownership groups. Wrexham has become one of the most popular teams in the United States despite playing the last 19 seasons beneath the third tier of […] For the 2024/25 League One campaign, Birmingham City FC has requested to play newly promoted Wrexham in the United States. Both sides have American, or at least North American, ownership groups. Wrexham has become one of the most popular teams in the United States despite playing the last 19 seasons beneath the third tier of English soccer. The Welcome to Wrexham documentary series on FX and Hulu focuses on the takeover from Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. Looking to capitalize on that, Birmingham City FC reached out to the English Football League to ask that it play its home game away from St. Andrews. Under BCFC’s desire, the game would move to the United States, making it one of the first competitive games from a foreign country to happen in the United States. The EFL shot the idea down, and Wrexham will play its road game against Birmingham City at St. Andrews. Yet, the prospect raises several interesting questions as to what that game would look like. After all, this is not El Clasico or top-level Spanish teams that LaLiga President Javier Tebas wants to put in the United States in the coming years. Nor is it the UEFA Supercup, which has been one of the competitions linked to happening in the United States. This is the third tier of English soccer. Wrexham has played friendlies abroad before. In the summer of 2023, a combined 84,000 people watched Wrexham play friendlies against Chelsea and Manchester United. Both of those venues drew higher crowds than what St. Andrews can hold in Birmingham. Would Birmingham City and Wrexham in the USA move the needle? Yet, in those games, there were two points of interest. There is Wrexham with players like Paul Mullin, Elliot Lee, James McClean and Ollie Palmer, each of whom featured regularly in Welcome to Wrexham. Then, the two Premier League clubs have massive followings in the United States. Chelsea even fielded players like Christopher Nkunku, Thiago Silva, Conor Gallagher and Ben Chilwell. Those star names and the reputations of Chelsea and Manchester United bring fans out. A competitive game between Wrexham and Birmingham City would sell out despite this, in all likelihood. American fans have a passion for Wrexham, and seeing the side play a game with importance for its hopes of promotion would be a fascinating element to see firsthand. There are concerns regarding the size of the stadium. It may be a challenge to sell out MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, of course. Yet, one of the soccer-specific stadiums across the United States or a traditional home for a college football team would have no issue. Concerns for EFL and sparking a trend Moving a game like Wrexham against Birmingham City to the USA, no matter how successful it is, would set a precedent for other leagues. LaLiga is already pushing to play games in the United States, while the Premier League has flirted with the idea in the past. If one game happens, the chances of more games coming across the Atlantic Ocean rise exponentially. Should that happen, Major League Soccer would be one of the biggest victims. Most MLS teams have loyal fan bases, but Wrexham has developed a strong audience across the United States. Fans would flock to see the Welsh team play a competitive team more than they would an MLS side. Again, this idea will not happen between Birmingham City and Wrexham, for now. The EFL shut down the prospect of this happening. Still, it is worth a conversation to see teams raise the idea of moving their home games to different countries to play up to an audience. PHOTOS: IMAGO

If Birmingham-Wrexham played in USA, what would it look like?
For the 2024/25 League One campaign, Birmingham City FC has requested to play newly promoted Wrexham in the United States. Both sides have American, or at least North American, ownership groups. Wrexham has become one of the most popular teams in the United States despite playing the last 19 seasons beneath the third tier of […]

For the 2024/25 League One campaign, Birmingham City FC has requested to play newly promoted Wrexham in the United States. Both sides have American, or at least North American, ownership groups. Wrexham has become one of the most popular teams in the United States despite playing the last 19 seasons beneath the third tier of English soccer. The Welcome to Wrexham documentary series on FX and Hulu focuses on the takeover from Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

Looking to capitalize on that, Birmingham City FC reached out to the English Football League to ask that it play its home game away from St. Andrews. Under BCFC’s desire, the game would move to the United States, making it one of the first competitive games from a foreign country to happen in the United States. The EFL shot the idea down, and Wrexham will play its road game against Birmingham City at St. Andrews. Yet, the prospect raises several interesting questions as to what that game would look like.

After all, this is not El Clasico or top-level Spanish teams that LaLiga President Javier Tebas wants to put in the United States in the coming years. Nor is it the UEFA Supercup, which has been one of the competitions linked to happening in the United States. This is the third tier of English soccer. Wrexham has played friendlies abroad before. In the summer of 2023, a combined 84,000 people watched Wrexham play friendlies against Chelsea and Manchester United. Both of those venues drew higher crowds than what St. Andrews can hold in Birmingham.

Would Birmingham City and Wrexham in the USA move the needle?

Yet, in those games, there were two points of interest. There is Wrexham with players like Paul Mullin, Elliot Lee, James McClean and Ollie Palmer, each of whom featured regularly in Welcome to Wrexham. Then, the two Premier League clubs have massive followings in the United States. Chelsea even fielded players like Christopher Nkunku, Thiago Silva, Conor Gallagher and Ben Chilwell. Those star names and the reputations of Chelsea and Manchester United bring fans out.

A competitive game between Wrexham and Birmingham City would sell out despite this, in all likelihood. American fans have a passion for Wrexham, and seeing the side play a game with importance for its hopes of promotion would be a fascinating element to see firsthand. There are concerns regarding the size of the stadium. It may be a challenge to sell out MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, of course. Yet, one of the soccer-specific stadiums across the United States or a traditional home for a college football team would have no issue.

Concerns for EFL and sparking a trend

Moving a game like Wrexham against Birmingham City to the USA, no matter how successful it is, would set a precedent for other leagues. LaLiga is already pushing to play games in the United States, while the Premier League has flirted with the idea in the past. If one game happens, the chances of more games coming across the Atlantic Ocean rise exponentially. Should that happen, Major League Soccer would be one of the biggest victims. Most MLS teams have loyal fan bases, but Wrexham has developed a strong audience across the United States. Fans would flock to see the Welsh team play a competitive team more than they would an MLS side.

Again, this idea will not happen between Birmingham City and Wrexham, for now. The EFL shut down the prospect of this happening. Still, it is worth a conversation to see teams raise the idea of moving their home games to different countries to play up to an audience.

PHOTOS: IMAGO