North Carolina FC announced it will host Liga MX’s Atlas FC in an international friendly at WakeMed Soccer Park on March 22 at 7 p.m.
Atlas has been a member of of Mexico’s top-flight league since 1916 and is led by Rafa Marquez, the captain of Mexico’s national team.
North Carolina FC’s two highest attended matches in team history, both while playing as the Carolina RailHawks, were friendlies against international opponents last year: 9,032 attended a 3-0 loss to Deportivo Toluca FC, also of Liga MX, last March, and 10,125 attended July’s match against England’s West Ham United.
Raleigh-Durham has the 33rd largest Hispanic television market per a 2015 Nielsen report. North Carolina FC owner Steve Malik said he has placed an emphasis on focusing marketing efforts on Hispanic soccer fans.
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“You saw (Fox Sports personality Fernando Fiore) do our press conference (in December) … and we certainly do a lot of outreach into that market,” Malik said. “You look at MLS and successful pro franchises, you know, they do well with the Hispanic market.”
North Carolina FC opens league play against Miami FC on March 25.