Polo Excitement Builds in Loudoun County
As everyone knows, the America's Cup of Polo is this weekend in Leesburg, although the Web site is still calling it America's Polo Cup. The rock-show stage is mostly assembled, the audio system for the Journey concert is being tested (it's the same audio system U2 and Aerosmith toured with, I'm told), the field is laid out (270 yards by 160 yards, nearly five football fields long), the berms are built (which took 16,000 tractor trailers of dirt, and no, I don't know what a berm is) and the hounds are coming out for a test hunt. Although some of the PR people have determined that the hounds don't actually kill anything; it's just for show.
"The more I thought about it, the more I decided I don't want to see this," one of the PR people said from a safe distance, before the non-violence of the hunt was discovered.
There are, by the way, three PR companies involved in various ways; "it's just that big of an event," one of the PR people informed me today during media day.
The PR people, it's worth noting, are extremely helpful. Like, I was looking forward to today's pre-weekend U.S.-U.K. scrimmage, because I wanted to scout the competitors, plus I was hoping to elicit some polo trash talk. But when I arrived in the hospitality tent, there were only two competitors here, both Americans, both of whom I had already interviewed. A third player, a Brit who lives in America, was rumored to be on-site; she was going to pair with another guy for the scrimmage. Was this mystery fourth player British, I asked?
"If you need him to be," a PR person assured me.
The media event was held in the "Chairman's Tent," which we were told was the "most regal tent" on the premises. Although it should be said that the Royal Celebration Tent is "also exceptional."
Journey's trucks and gear are already here. The band is flying in tonight. The three missing British players are flying in tomorrow morning. The other half of the American team will be here tomorrow, too, in time for the pre-match party tomorrow night. The 5,000 capacity for the game will likely be reached, and 3,000 more can come for the postgame Journey show. The weather forecast is hanging in there; 75 and sunny at last check.
"If it's good weather, everyone will remember how amazing this day was," Chairman Tareq Salahi just said.
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