$250 Million for Kicks
But in August 2003, our goddaughter called to say that she and her husband and baby were coming to Philadelphia to see Manchester United play Barcelona at Lincoln Financial Field (the Linc). When the match was announced, the 68,396 seats sold out in just 46 minutes—faster than Bruce Springsteen. Our goddaughter did not want to go and I was invited to use her ticket.
I did not care much for soccer, but this was to be the first event held at the Linc—the stadium that had just been completed for the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team—and I was anxious to see the new facility.
Even though our seats were in the nosebleed section—the absolute top row of the stadium—I had a clear view of the entire field and was able to follow the action because the ball was so large.
I did not care for soccer. It was an afternoon of watching ant-sized figures in constant motion to the point where I wished somebody would pick up the ball and start running with it. The whole thing seemed like a football game where all the players were wearing handcuffs. And I absolutely couldn’t figure out what was going on when officials in short pants would run onto the field waving red or yellow cards.
Will Soccer Make it in the United States?
David Beckham’s task of converting Americans into soccer aficionados is monumental.
True, more than 3 million kids are playing the game and the American team is ranked fifth in the world. Currently, Major League Soccer has two conferences—Eastern and Western—with six teams each. The attendance is the poorest by far of any major North American team sport. For example: