BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Soccer fans will wear their team colors on Sunday for a big sporting event at M&T Bank Stadium.
City leaders say the Gold Cup, which is nearly sold out, will bring some of the game’s best players and millions of dollars to Baltimore.
Kai Jackson reports.
Excitement is building as Baltimore prepares to host a major soccer tournament this weekend. The Gold Cup quarterfinals will be played at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, and the U.S. will be among the teams in the hunt for the championship.
The Gold Cup tournament is expected to draw crowds at M&T Bank Stadium and generate revenue for local businesses.
When teams from Chelsea (England) and Milan (Italy) battled in the FIFA Tournament in 2009 at M&T, Baltimore was the biggest winner, with millions pumped into the local economy.
“The city of Baltimore and state of Maryland are prepped and ready to go. The field, the turf is down at M&T Bank Stadium and we’re expecting a great crowd,” said Terry Hasseltine, Maryland Office of Sports. “The city, the hotels and the impact that we expect on this event will be very significant.”
A number of local hotels are reportedly booked solid for the games and area restaurants and bars expect to see a boost in business with soccer fans in town.
“It definitely impacts the Hyatt and as a city as a whole, this is a global reach,” said Jennifer Burns, Hyatt Hotels.
Slainte is a popular Irish pub on Thames Street in Fells Point. Fans flock there by the dozens to get a well-poured pint and a day’s worth of televised football action–European style.
“It’s definitely good. Anything that brings people in, it can’t hurt the city,” said Slainte General Manager Jeff Bejma.
Sunday’s double-header features the Unites States playing El Salvador. And Costa Rica will play Honduras.