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LAFC to open 2023 MLS season vs. LA Galaxy at Rose Bowl

Rivalry game to raise curtain on new season, broadcast deal.

Soccer - Rose Bowl - Pasadena Photo by Christian Liewig/TempSport/Corbis via Getty Images

The first fixture of the 2023 MLS regular season has dropped, as MLS announced on Tuesday that LAFC will face the LA Galaxy to open the season, on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the fabled Rose Bowl.

It will be the first game for LAFC at the historic venue, and this El Trafico clash will officially be an “away” fixture for LAFC, meaning they may not need to play the Galaxy in Carson in league play next year, which has been a house of horrors for the black-and-gold over the past five years.

“This rivalry has, from day one, delivered an energy and electricity that together with incredible moments and memories on the pitch, has established it among the most engaging not only in Los Angeles but across MLS,” LAFC Co-President & CBO Larry Freedman said in a team statement. “It is only fitting that we are now taking it to one of the most iconic venues in all of sports.”

The game has the potential to break the all-time single MLS game attendance mark, set in March when Charlotte FC played their first-ever home game at Bank of America Stadium, with 73,019 in attendance. The Rose Bowl’s capacity fluctuates in the 88,000-94,000 range for most events these days, so even if they manage merely 80,000, that will smash the record previously set.

The game will also kick off the new broadcast package offered on Apple TV, which replaces all the local broadcast deals around MLS. So if you can’t get to Pasadena, you’ll have a new spot to watch the action.

Obviously rivalry matches are always huge, and starting a season with one is a pretty tall task for both sides. Win it, and you start the season flying high. Lose, and it’s going to hurt a lot more than a normal loss. We’ll see what the LA rivals have in store for this special event.

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