While Manchester may now be a more diversified U.K. business and economic hub, the city is still most famous to the rest of the world for its beloved Manchester United Football Club.
Boasting 300 million fans world wide (5% of world's population) and more than 18 honors and championships (including Premier League, European Cup, and FA Cup titles), Manchester United is the most successful football (a.k.a. soccer) team in history and arguably the world's most valuable sporting franchise.
Although you may be aware that British pop culture icon David Beckham is a former member and captain of the team and Wayne Rooney is the club's rising star, did you know that Manchester United is American-owned? Despite the objection of many hard core local fans, American business tycoon Malcolm Glazer (also owner of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers) purchased 75% of the club in 2005. The valuation? A whopping $1.5 Billion US!! Mr. Glazer immediately privatized the club and installed his two sons, Avi and Joel, as joint chairmen of the board. Contrary to the skeptics, the Glazers have enhanced the club's value with Chevrolet and Nike sponsorship deals, and have continued United's winning tradition with a Premier League crown in 2013.
Attending a Manchester United match at Old Trafford Stadium is on par with watching nine innings at Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. It's not just a game, it's a one-of-a-kind experience filled with history, tradition, and, of course, some good football.