There were two huge soccer games at Baltimore’s lovely football stadium today. Did you know about this? About 70,000 fans attended the doubleheader. I wonder if the light-rail was able to handle the influx of riders that the Gold Cup games and Artscape generated. I hardly heard anything about the games before today and I assume many potential Artscape and Gold Cup light-rail riders did not know about the other event.
The USA/El Salvador (the first game) game was on Fox (national TV) at 4PM and Salvadorans from across the region bought up thousands of tickets. There were clearly more Salvadoran fans there from what I saw on TV although you could clearly hear “O!” during the Star Spangled Banner. The second game between Honduras and Costa Rica was on FOX Soccer (U.S. – English), Univision (U.S. – Spanish), Sportsnet World (Canada), and ESPN (only in the U.K.).
This basically was the equivalent of a Ravens game in the middle of the summer in terms of potential economic impact for the area. City leadership goes out of its way to hype up the Grand Prix, but this comparable event (seen by way more people on National TV) was basically ignored by our bloated bureaucracy. I hope privately owned businesses were not as complacent as the bureaucrats were. Today was a day for Baltimore to shine in the national spotlight and for businesses to make money off of the extra 70,000 people downtown.