Posted by Gary Martin on January 23, 2002 at
In Reply to: Mexican Wave posted by CRT on January 22, 2002
: : : I just read the definition of a Mexican Wave and I thought I would add some background. The Wave (we don't use the adjective Mexican in America) originated at the University of Washington's Husky Stadium in Seattle. It spread from there to other colleges and to pro sports.
: : This undulating human wave ... apparently became popular at University of Washington football games a few years ago. (_New York Times_, 1984)
: : Then it came to world attention through TV broadcasts of the 1986 soccor World Cup finals from Mexico City.
: : An occasion and result that satisfied the partisan bulk of the 88,000 crowd. We even saw a passable Mexican Wave. (_Guardian_, 1986)
: The World Cup was in Mexico in 1970! That's where the wave started.
This is widely reported as coming to prominence during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. I can't find any evidence of it described with that name as early as 1970, but perhaps someone else can?