SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - 18,000 fans filled Avaya Stadium in San Jose for Major League Soccer's All-Star game with England's Arsenal Thursday night.
The event drew a sold out crowd with fans coming from all over the country. Many soccer fans say they spent a lot of money to attend, but that it was worth it.
"It's a beautiful game. The skill involved and the fans that get into it," said Henry Ramirez, who coaches a girls' soccer team back home in Houston.
Fans say their experience is enhanced by the historic nature of this event. It's the first All-Star Major League Soccer game to be played here at Avaya Stadium.
It's only the second time the All-Star Game has been played in San Jose.
The home team: the players from MLS wore blue and the Arsenal from England, in red.
"It's just different than anything else that happens here in the U.S. with hockey and basketball; baseball," said Ramirez.
For fans who traveled, the palpable excitement was contagious.
"I came all the way from New Jersey to be here spent a lot of money to be here. I'm super excited. It's really nice to be in here," said Sheri Nexon from New Jersey who was here to cheer for the Arsenal.
Fans paid anywhere from $85 to $350. This stadium is home to the San Jose Earthquakes. But on this night, it was a showcase for the world's best of the best in soccer.
"This is a big deal. In the Super Bowl, you get to see two teams, here you get to see so many," said Joe Roble, a San Jose Earthquakes fan from Danville.
Season ticket holders say soccer is family friendly, in part because of its affordability.
"The boys love to play soccer, watch soccer. We're Earthquake season fans. It's just a fun environment to be at," said Jose Rodriguez who lives in San Jose.
Fans predict that soccer, with its immense popularity overseas will in the near future enjoy the same here in this country.
The Bay Area, rich in great sports teams has one more sport to celebrate.
"This is the beginning of something. Let's just hope it can spawn off into something even bigger," said Larry Lawrence from Fremont.
The final score: Arsenal over MLS 2 to 1.