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.”

Teams announced for July’s international soccer match at M&T Stadium

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

For the second summer in a row, M&T Bank Stadium will host an international soccer match — this year featuring Manchester City Football Club against Football Club Internazionale Milano — a tradition that officials hope will cement reputation Baltimore as a world-renowned soccer destination.

Last year’s match, where England’s Chelsea Football Club defeated Italy’s AC Milan 2-1, sold out the stadium’s more than 70,000 seats 10 days in advance.

That event last July generated $20 million in spending, $1.5 million in state and local taxes and roughly 300 jobs, officials said.

Officials, who made the announcement Friday morning at the stadium, expect the same financial impact — if not better — for this year’s match on July 31.

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.

Crystal Palace is looking to baseball model

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

New Crystal Palace GM Keith LuptonWith a new league and — they hope — soon a new stadium, Baltimore’s minor league soccer team wants to model its business after minor league baseball in its goal to fill seats and become a regional destination and entertainment center for soccer fans.

To get there, Crystal Palace Baltimore is looking to new General Manager Keith Lupton to guide the team to the next level off the field. Lupton spent 28 years in the minor league baseball business and helped start and manage Baltimore Orioles affiliates in Frederick, Hagerstown, Bowie and Salisbury.

“I’m probably the least knowledgeable about soccer than everyone in this room, but that’s not my job,” he said at a Wednesday news conference at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore. “My job is to get a new stadium up and fill the seats through season tickets, advertising, media and entertainment.”

Md. courts lucrative youth soccer championship

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer 

Maryland is bidding to host a youth soccer championship in 2011 and 2012 that could bring more than $12 million in revenue to the state each year.

State officials have their eye on the U.S. Youth Soccer Championship, a national summer tournament played across five regions in the United States between 185,000 players on 10,000 teams from youth soccer state associations. Champions in the six age brackets (under-14 through under-19) from each regional event then meet to compete for a national title in July.

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. …”

PG officials, team officials guarantee DC United will move to Maryland

February 16, 2009 3:24 PM

LARGO — Prince George’s County and D.C. United officials guaranteed Monday that not only would the Major League Soccer team move to Maryland, but a new stadium would not cost county residents more Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson holding a DC United taxes.

“I emphatically want to repeat this again,” said United Executive Chairman Victor B. MacFarlane, who alluded last week to the team’s commitment. “We want to be in Prince George’s County and we will be in Prince George’s County.”

About 100 people, including several United players, attended a news conference Monday at Prince George’s County Community College to hear officials detail how that was going to happen.

“We understand that we cannot ask for one dollar from this tax base,” said MacFarlane. “We cannot and we will not — I promise that.”

Del. Melanie Griffith, D-Prince George’s, said she wanted to dispel rumors that new taxes would pay for the stadium.

“That is not the case,” she said.