[GOLD CUP: Quarterfinals]Attention turns Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium, where the USA faces El Salvador Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader that also pits Honduras against Costa Rica. Thanks to the presence of El Salvador and Honduras, both countries with a high concentration of immigrants on the East Coast, organizers are hoping the doubleheader will sell out the 71,000-seat stadium that is the home of the NFL Ravens, which could mean a partisan El Salvador crowd for La Selecta's match against the USA.
Concacaf general secretary Enrique Sanz told the Baltimore Sun that 26,000 tickets had been sold prior to Tuesday's final group matches, and Steven Goff of the Washington Post reported late Wednesday that ticket sales had reached 43,000
Until then, the quarterfinal matchups were not determined. El Salvador qualified as one of the two third-place teams on Monday night, but La Selecta appeared to headed to Atlanta to face Panama until Cuba beat Belize, 4-0, and overtook Martinique for the second third-place spot. That meant El Salvador moved to Baltimore to face the USA and Cuba went to Atlanta. If the second third-place team had been Martinique, the USA would have played Les Matinino in Baltimore.
"All the games throughout the Gold Cup have been increasing [in ticket sales] from the first game, and we expect that for the quarterfinals," Sanz said Wednesday. "Overnight and into today, we are seeing a lot of tickets being sold. … It would not be a surprise to have a sellout in Baltimore knowing the market. Anything can happen."
Baker Koppelman, vice president of ticket sales and operations for the Ravens, said the presence of the three Central American teams will boot ticket sales.
"We are crossing our fingers that maybe we do sell this thing out before the weekend … it's trending that way," Koppelman told the Sun. "The volume has increased dramatically since last night. Now it's just a matter of at what point does that hit the wall, if at all."