Already our vacation capital, Orlando proved that it deserves to become a sports capital as well. It knows how to turn a game into an event without anybody getting hurt.
After existing for so long in the shadow of fantasyland, it acts as if it loves this real stuff.
* YOU HAD TO BE HERE: In the downtown area on July 4, fans from everywhere joined to sing "Happy Birthday."
To whom? To the United States, of course. Considering how we came of age in yet another international sporting scene this summer, it was a happy birthday indeed.
Times staff writers Elliott Almond, Julie Cart, Lisa Dillman, Chris Dufresne, Helene Elliott, Randy Harvey, Mike Penner and Times Sports Editor Bill Dwyre contributed to this story.
From zealots to the casual fan to the simply curious, they have come in droves to World Cup '94, making this the best-attended tournament in the event's 64-year history. Through 44 of 52 games, the crowd count stood at 2,995,242, surpassing the record of 2.5-million for Italia '90. Indeed, this global spectacular has been so popular that ticket sales at some venues, such as Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, and Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, have exceeded listed capacity.
ROSE BOWL Pasadena Capacity: 91,794 Average: 90,669 5 games TOTAL: 453,347
STANFORD STADIUM Palo Alto Capacity: 80,906 Average: 80,458 5 GAMES TOTAL: 407,292
COTTON BOWL Dallas Capacity: 63,998 Average: 57,730 5 games TOTAL: 288,652
CITRUS BOWL Orlando, Fla. Capacity: 61,219 Average: 61,246 5 games TOTAL: 306,229
RFK STADIUM Washington Capacity: 53,142 Average: 52,839 5 GAMES TOTAL: 264,196
GIANTS STADIUM East Rutherford, N.J. Capacity: 75,338 Average: 73,841 5 games TOTAL: 369,206
FOXBORO STADIUM Foxboro, Mass. Capacity: 53,644 Average: 53,953 5 games TOTAL: 269,763
SOLDIER FIELD Chicago Capacity: 63,117 Average: 62,545 5 games TOTAL: 312,725
PONTIAC SILVERDOME Pontiac, Mich. Capacity: 77,557 Ave: 70,958 4 games TOTAL: 283,832