DENVER (Colorado Rapids Official Release) - The Colorado Rapids and Kroenke Sports Enterprises announced today a groundbreaking commercial alliance agreement with perennial English Premier League contenders Arsenal Football Club.

"We are delighted to be able to announce our alliance with Kroenke Sports Enterprises said Arsenal Football Club Managing Director Keith Edelman. "This is a very important step for Arsenal as this becomes our first venture into the United States marketplace. We are approaching this as a long term development alliance that will benefit both clubs significantly."

The establishment of the Arsenal Center of Excellence at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park highlights the alliance which includes a combination of commercial and marketing efforts along with an exchange of best practices in a club-to-club relationship.

"We are thrilled to have established such an alliance with one of the leading clubs in the world that will help continue the expansion of our sport well into the future said KSE Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer Paul Andrews. "We are looking forward to a successful long lasting relationship."

The development of the Arsenal Cup a club tournament that will be open to American club teams from all over the United States and that will be hosted at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was also a highlight of the announcement. Details of this tournament will be made public on a later date.

"This groundbreaking alliance with Arsenal a team that has been in the first flights of the sport for more than 100 years is the one of the stepping stones to continue pushing our sport into the next level said Colorado Rapids Managing Director Jeff Plush. "In today’s international business community soccer is the only true global sport that transcends ethnicity culture and language and with this type of relationship we are making sure that our company is expanding this vision through our worldwide sport."

The Rapids will travel to London on March 8th where they will be hosted by Arsenal to continue their preseason training camp practicing at the team’s facilities in London at Colney. The stint in London will end on March 13 when the team departs to their final stage of their preseason in Valencia Spain.

With a new era beginning for the team today and the opening of their new 18000 seat soccer-specific stadium set for April 2007 the Colorado Rapids are poised to set a new standard of excellence in Major League Soccer and around the world of sports.

ABOUT Arsenal Football Club
Arsenal Football Club was founded in 1886 by workers at the Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory. The team has played in England’s First Division since just after the First World War. In 2003/2004 Arsenal won their 13th League title in undefeated fashion and finished 11 points clear of second place Chelsea. The 2006/2007 season is the first for the famed club in their brand new Emirates Stadium.
ABOUT Kroenke Sports Enterprises
Kroenke Sports Enterprises is the Rocky Mountain West’s leading provider of live sports and entertainment events. Based in Denver Kroenke Sports is a privately held company operating Denver’s Pepsi Center arena sports franchises and presenting live entertainment events. More than 3 million fans annually experience the excitement of professional sports and entertainment through Kroenke Sports’ ownership of the 19000-seat Pepsi Center arena 4400-seat Universal Lending Pavilion and 1800-seat Paramount Theatre as well as the NHL Colorado Avalanche the NBA Denver Nuggets the NLL Colorado Mammoth joint ownership of the AFL Colorado Crush alliance with the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver and Colorado Ballet and presentation of more than 200 live concerts meetings and events annually.
ABOUT Dick's Sporting Goods Park
The newest jewel of Denver’s sports landscape Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is an 18000-seat stadium that is surrounded by a 24-field fully-lit professional soccer complex and is considered the biggest and most state-of-the-art professional stadium and field complex in the world. The soccer complex’s address 6000 Victory Way Commerce City Colorado 80022 is located nine miles northeast of downtown Denver and only five miles from Denver International Airport near the intersection of Interstate 70 and Quebec Street.