The Italian bowl comes to the glass bowl

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) — The Italian bowl is coming to the Glass Bowl next summer. The Italian Football League Championship will be played outside of Europe for the first time ever – and for starters, it’s about American football, not soccer.

The game is expected to bring thousands of international visitors to Toledo and it’s about more than touchdowns.

The Glass Bowl has hosted a lot of big games, but none quite like the one that will be played there next July. The Italian Football League will hold its championship there.

Toledo Mayor Kapszukiewicz said thinking outside the box can bring big wins for the city.

“People have asked why is this happening in Toledo? Well, to that I say, why not Toledo? We raised our hands, put our foot in the door and here we are,” Kapszukiewicz said. “Successful cities do creative things like this. There’s nothing in the playbook that says we have to bring Italian football here, but sometimes you get points for creativity.

Raffaello Pellegrini is a former Italian soccer player and co-owner of one of the teams there. He says playing football in the birthplace of the game will be magical.

“Somehow dreams come true if you work hard to make it happen,” Pellegrini said. “Our players are so excited about this opportunity.”

Rob Sims played for Ohio State University and in the NFL. He is thrilled to be an American Ambassador for the event. Rob says fans in Italy love the game.

“They’re cheering like it’s football,” Sims said. “You will hear ‘olé, olé olé.’ Their tailgating is also different. Instead of hot dogs and burgers they have prosciutto and melon.

The game is expected to attract thousands of people and inject millions into the local economy. This will also help foster business relationships.

Dean Monske is the head of the Regional Growth Partnership.

“We seek to ensure that we help Italian visitors understand the opportunities when it comes to doing business in Northwest Ohio,” Monske said. “We will work to set up interaction between local business owners and the Italian delegation.”

Along with the impact on tourism and potential economic development, the mayor says it’s a great way to enjoy a good game and show off our great city.

“Thinking back to the Solheim Cup,” Kapszukiewicz said. “The people of Toledo were very enthusiastic about showing our city to international visitors. This is our next opportunity to do so.

The match will be played on July 1 at 2:00 p.m., so it can be shown live during prime time in Italy. There will be a number of different events before the game.

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