With over 70,000 fans (mostly donned in El Salvador and Honduras blue) making their way into M&T Bank Stadium on a hot and humid Sunday afternoon, the hanging rain clouds looking to damper the two upcoming soccer matches didn’t stand a chance. For the unsuspecting soccer fan, the heavily favored United States Men’s National Team looked like they were playing a road game, with a few specs of red jerseys being seen in the crowd. It was obvious that El Salvador and Honduras were the home favorites over the United States and Costa Rica.
The United States ultimately won their contest, with Honduras winning the later match.
The grass field at M&T Bank Stadium looked beautiful. The Ravens Grounds crew had been cultivating and watering the field for almost a week prior to the match to make sure that the field was in prime condition for the Gold Cup. Never mind the field or game though- I think the most exciting experience to me was before the game! On my way into the stadium I saw thousands of fans wearing the jerseys of their team, waving the flag of their nation, chanting countless pre-game war songs and enjoying pre-game rituals that many of us enjoy before attending a game. The atmosphere was electric and the smell of food being grilled were something to experience in itself.
Baltimore and M&T Bank Stadium were one of six new venues chosen to host the CONCACAF Gold Cup this year and its staff and fans did not disappoint. Not only did Baltimore prove to be an excellent location for the Gold Cup Quarterfinals, but the atmosphere surrounding M&T Bank Stadium made the fan experience one to remember.