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This is the BBC review of the USA 94 World Cup, presented by Barry Davies and broadcast in December 1994.
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in the United States of America from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as hosts by FIFA in July 1988.
The average attendance for the tournament was 69,000 while the total attendance was 3.6 million. The 1994 World Cup holds the record for the highest attendance in World Cup history. It was also the highest-attended single sport sporting event in United States history.
FIFA's decision to hold the event in the United States over the bids of Morocco and Brazil surprised many due to the perception that the United States had a relative lack of soccer fans. FIFA hoped that by staging the world's premier soccer tournament there, it would lead to America's growth of interest the sport. (One condition FIFA imposed was the creation of a professional soccer league, as Major League Soccer started play in 1996.) Despite these misgivings, in terms of attendance the event was a rousing success. The average attendance of nearly 69,000 shattered a record that had stood since 1950, due to the bigger capacities of the American stadiums compared to those of Europe and Latin America. To this day, the total attendance for the final tournament of nearly 3.6 million remains the highest in World Cup history, despite the expansion of the competition to 32 teams in 1998.
And in sporting terms, it was widely regarded as the best tournament since Mexico 1970.
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