The game of soccer is one that is constantly growing within the United States. Baltimore will welcome FC Baltimore of the NPSL and the team most likely will be embraced with open arms by soccer fans in the area.
Baltimore has been the host of a Gold Cup match, club friendlies and other soccer matches in the span of a few seasons. The 2010 World Cup drew a 6.4 television rating, only lower than San Diego (8.9). In the U.S. and Ghana matchup during the 2014 World Cup, the game drew an 8.7 rating in Baltimore (ranking sixth in the nation). The city has often been overlooked when it comes to basketball and hockey, due to the condition of Royal Farms Arena and the price of a potential new arena. Attendance has also waned at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium in recent years, which could be due to pricing, parking
It’s a big difference with soccer and especially FC Baltimore. The games are $10 per ticket, the parking is accessible at Essex Stadium, and tailgating could allow for fans to enjoy a more intimate experience.
The team will in the National Premier Soccer League, a league that has experience with clubs in working class cities, who have risen to prominence. Take Detroit City FC for example. Detroit City FC plays in the NPSL as well and have built a following that has that has owners scrambling for an MLS bid.
Fans go to DCFC games shooting off smoke bombs, rattling the stadium with their loud chants and marching into the stadium. This could easily be replicated by a city like Baltimore, which has an extremely rich history of soccer. The well-coordinated development of the club has drawn attention from supporters like the 7th State State Supporters, local soccer star power in their players, and a number of sponsors.
From these building blocks; a love of the game by fans, reasonable ticket prices, a fan-friendly environment, local players and coaches and an organization that is willing to reach out to spread its message, FC Baltimore will see a great deal of support for the foreseeable future.