Originally written on Jim Williams Media Insider  |  Last updated 10/18/14
Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi will take place and there are concerns about the size of the turnout. It is a very attractive doubleheader with the United States national team playing El Salvador at 4 p.m. In the nightcap it will be Costa Rica taking on  Honduras with the late game set for a  7 p.m. start.Nationally, the USA vs. El Salvador will be seen nationally on Fox with the second game of the doubleheader between Costa Rica and Honduras airing on Fox Soccer. Gus Johnson and analyst Cobi Jones will handle the game broadcast on both networks with the pre and postgame shows featuring Rob Stone,  with analysts Eric Wynalda and Warren Barton all on site in Baltimore. Now back to the ticket issue...As of Thursday afternoon only 26,000 of the potential 71,000 seats were sold for the event. CONCACAF general secretary Enrique Sanz told the media this week that the low presalenumbers weren't unexpected given the uncertainty of the matchups. The U.S. teamdid not clinch its place in the quarterfinals until last Saturday's 4-1 win over Cuba in Sandy, Utah."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. "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."Can organizers really expect a late sale and walk up crowd of an additional 40,000 plus fans in less than a week? Clearly, anything can happen but a quick check of the online ticket sites like the CONCACAF site,  Stub Hub and Ticketmaster showed that plenty of tickets remain. Seats were going for between $40.30 -$163.20 in all sections of the stadium.Last July, Liverpool and Tottenham played to a scoreless tie in a  international friendly, at M&T Bank Stadiumbefore an announced crowd of 42,723 fans. Anything in the range of 42,000 to 45,000 would be a good crowd for Sunday’s doubleheader. A crowd of 50,000 is possible if the fans really get excited about seeing the U.S, national team play in Baltimore for the first time since 1998.Can Charm City get some help from the south?To reach the 40 to 50 thousand mark Baltiimore will need some help and it could come from Washington and Northen Virginia. Earlier this year, on June 2nd, down I-95 in Washington the U.S. Men's National Team earned a thrilling 4-3 victory in an international friendly with Germany. The Centennial Celebration match at RFK Stadium was played in front of a sellout crowd of 47,359. But soccer in the Nation’s Capital has always been a hot ticket, so maybe the big Hispanic community in Washington and Northern Virginia can help boost the numbers in Baltimore.
PLAYERS: Cobi Jones
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