World Cup

Soccer means business and retailers, bars hope to cash in

When suddenly everybody wants a U.S. soccer jersey and bars and pubs are opening their doors at 7 a.m., it usually means one thing — it’s FIFA World Cup time.

Once every four years one of the most popular youth sports in the country gets a one-month stint as the country’s most watched pro sport and businesses in the soccer world enjoy the roughly 25 percent boost in business that comes with it.

“Every four years we have an extended Christmas,” Stephen G. Humburg, general manager of Soccer American, said of the tournament which starts Friday in South Africa. “It’s not just World Cup merchandise — everything that is offered goes up.”

Another international soccer match coming to M&T Stadium

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer 

ANNAPOLIS — Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium has landed another multimillion dollar revenue-generating soccer match to be played this July between two high-profile European teams.

The announcement is expected shortly by the Baltimore Ravens, according to the Maryland Stadium Authority, the state agency that leases the stadium to the team.

The event will come one year after Baltimore raised its status in the soccer community by hosting a sold-out exhibition match between England’s Chelsea Football Club and Italy’s AC Milan. That game generated roughly $20 million in economic impact and caught the attention of FIFA, the governing body of international soccer.

Baltimore makes cut for World Cup bids for 2018, 2022

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

Baltimore has made the cut to be one of the 18 host cities included in the U.S.A. Bid Committee’s quest to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup — a selection that could eventually mean $500 million in revenue for the city.

The announcement Tuesday afternoon by U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati was met with cheers, whistles and applause from a small group of city and state sporting officials gathered at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore to watch the news conference on television.

“This is huge,” Terry Hasseltine, the state director of sports marketing, said as they gathered to toast each other after the announcement. “The World Cup is the largest event any city could ever host. …”

M&T Bank Stadium and FedEx Field remain in running for World Cup bid

Daily Record Business Writer
August 20, 2009 7:38 PM

Maryland’s two professional football stadiums have made the latest round of cuts and remain in consideration for the U.S. bid to host soccer’s World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

After eliminating 13 more stadiums, 32 remain, the U.S. bid committee announced Thursday. The list, which started with 70 stadiums in April, had been cut to 45 in June.

Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Ravens, and Landover’s FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins, stand a good chance to both make the final cut of 18 stadiums, said Terry Hasseltine, the state’s sports marketing director.

“At end of day, if we get one [stadium] or we get two, Maryland wins because it happens on our soil,” said Hasseltine, whose office is with the Department of Business and Economic Development. “Our goal is still to have two when they’re down to 18, and I think we can do that.”

He said that M&T Bank Stadium and FedEx Field — separated by just 34 miles — provide a nice one-two punch. M&T’s smaller size and central location downtown is ideal for early round play where there’s more activity and attendance is more spread out, while FedEx’s 91,000-seat capacity is better for later rounds with larger crowds. M&T seats about 71,000.

“In all honesty, you could anchor one-quarter of field in this one area ... and I’ve pitched it that way,” said Hasseltine.

RFK Stadium in Washington also remains in the running.

The stadiums must now send to FIFA a more detailed list of specs including security capabilities, staff, parking and other event necessities and local amenities such as hotels and transportation.

Baltimore gained points with FIFA when M&T hosted a sold-out game between Chelsea and AC Milan in July, Hasseltine said.

Bids are due to FIFA by May, and the selections will be announced in December 2010.