USA Rugby men’s national team to take on Italy at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston

The USA Rugby men’s national team, the Eagles, will host Italy at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Saturday, June 23, 2012.  With the highly anticipated new stadium scheduled to open in May, the venue will utilize all-new ticketing platform axs Ticketing (www.axs.com) for the upcoming match and for all events moving forward.

The last time the two nations clashed was in September 2011, when Italy knocked the USA out of contention for the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarterfinals in New Zealand, defeating the Americans 27-10 in the last match of pool play match.  Newly hired USA head coach Mike Tolkin and his team will look to correct issues in their RWC exit and put a stamp on the new coaching era.

“In New Zealand we struggled to match the power of the Italian forwards.  They played a forwards-oriented game, slowed our ball down, and made us struggle in the set piece on both sides of the ball.  The intensity will be there on our part, but we’ll need to match that power in Houston,” said Tolkin. 

“We’re looking forward to having the home crowd behind us at BBVA Compass Stadium and showing them what international rugby is all about.  This is a Six Nations Member and team that have been hovering around the top-ten in the IRB rankings for a while, so it will be a great opportunity for the American people to watch it on our soil. These are the types of games that the Eagles need to play to improve, and eventually, we need to start winning them as well,“ Tolkin stated.

Home to the Major League Soccer team the Houston Dynamo, Houston’s newest stadium will provide USA Rugby with a state-of-the-art facility for this important event.  The test match will be the first international rugby event to ever be held in the stadium.

“There are so many reasons to be excited about this game,” said USA Rugby CEO and President of Rugby Operations, Nigel Melville. “It’s a fresh start for the Eagles, they are going to play in a brand new stadium, and we get to display top-notch international rugby to a great sports city like Houston.”

The BBVA Compass Stadium staff, Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, and USA Rugby have worked together to bring international rugby back to Houston.

“We are pleased to be able to announce the USA Rugby match between the U.S. men’s team and Italy as our first non-soccer event at BBVA Compass Stadium,” said BBVA Compass Stadium general manager Doug Hall.  “Our stadium will provide fans with a unique downtown backdrop to this exciting sporting event and we look forward to incorporating rugby events such as this into our calendar for years to come.”

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment director Heather Houston added, “We’re proud to help bring an     elite international rugby test match to Houston and are excited to work with our friends at BBVA Compass Stadium to host the event.  Since we first brought international soccer to Houston in 2006, that sport has grown tremendously here, including the addition of the Houston Dynamo in 2006.  We look forward to building a similar foundation with USA Rugby beginning this summer.” 

All tickets for the match and all future events held at BBVA Compass Stadium will be sold via AEG’s new state-of-the-art ticketing platform, axs Ticketing (pronounced access) and via the stadium’s website. With respect to fees, axs Ticketing is committed to transparency and will always disclose the full price of the ticket upfront with no surprises or hidden costs.

For each event, axs.com will open a virtual waiting room shortly before the public on-sale, giving consumers visibility into the buying process. Ticket buyers can log onto www.axs.com or www.bbvacompassstadium.com and click the purchase link for the show to enter the waiting room, where they will be able to view event details, pricing and ticket information. Customers also will have the opportunity to enter their billing information to save time once the on-sale goes live.

Tickets for the USA Rubgy Men’s National Team, The Eagles versus Italy will go on-sale beginning Monday, March 12 at 10 a.m. C.T. and will be available online at www.axs.com or www.bbvacompassstadium.com or by calling 888-929-7849.  The axs Ticketing service also is available on all mobile platforms, and features Facebook and Twitter integration.  Prices start at $15.

The Italy game will complete a three-match summer series for the Eagles.  The USA will play Canada in Kingston Ontario on June 9 and will host the Republic of Georgia on June 16 at a venue that is not yet confirmed.