Chicago will host the fourth annual North American Lions Club Meet Up (link to the Facebook event) the weekend of September 23-25. With a variety of events planned, including watching the match on Saturday against Newcastle United and singing far louder than the Toon Army, playing real and virtual football and just plain old fashioned drinking with other Villa fans, it's sure to be a weekend to remember.
Last year, it was held in San Diego, and I wrote about the experience. This year is the second occasion that it will be hosted in Chicago, back to where it all began when Villa came to the US during the summer of 2012.
If you heard Episode 96 of the Holtecast or read Part One of the meet up preview, you'll have heard a little about the history of the event from Chicago Lions supporters' club Chairman Simon Leach. Simon has helped to organise the events each year, in addition to helping grow the Villa family here in the states.
As promised in Part One, here's the new information:
- Villa legend Ian Taylor will be attending the event in Chicago!
- Crucially, it's been confirmed the match will be broadcast, but it is unclear whether it will be on beIN's main channel or via the streaming platform. It will be shown at the bar regardless.
- In addition to the Villa items available in the charity raffle (like the Juan Pablo Ángel shirt), there are some items from Chicago professional teams (Bears, White Sox, Red Stars).
-Official meet up shirts will be available to purchase at the event.
Schedule of events:
11:00 am: Brunch for early arrivals (location TBD)
1:00 pm: Arrive at The Globe for official opening of weekend
8:30 pm: Leave for Chicago Fire pitch
9:30 pm: Kickoff -- Villa Supporters vs. The Globe Pub Team (two 40-minute halves)
10:00 am: Meet at The Globe
11:30 am: Kickoff -- Aston Villa vs. Newcastle United
2:30 pm: FIFA tournament begins
4:00 pm: Raffle drawing
7:30 pm: Who's This Mary
Open schedule. Watch soccer at The Globe or golf outing