MLS Stadiums Drawing Crowds For World Cup Viewing Parties
More than 3,500 people watched yesterday's Sweden-Mexico World Cup match at Avaya Stadium despite it beginning at 7:00am PT as the Earthquakes continued their practice of holding "viewing parties for every game since the World Cup started," according to Sal Pizarro of the San Jose MERCURY NEWS. Fans have showed up "hours before dawn to watch" matches throughout the tournament, though Mexico’s games have been an "entirely different affair." There were "giant sombreros, luchador wrestling masks and more than a few guys wearing the Mexican flag as a cape" yesterday. One group "brought drums and started a 'Mexico' chant" as the first half was winding down. This was a "relatively small crowd" compared to the one for last Saturday's Mexico-South Korea match that was "so big that it spilled into the regular Avaya stands." Most fans yesterday "brought lawn chairs or blankets to sit on, and the rest stood around the back or at the bar, where they could watch on smaller screens." The "big draw was the bar, which opened right when people started streaming into the stadium" at 6:00am. It has been that way for "all the viewing parties" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 6/28).
GRAB A SEAT: In Utah, Jody Genessy notes Real Salt Lake has been hosting World Cup watch parties on "one of the two fields" inside its new training facility. Fans are "invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets" to the Zions Bank Real Academy building -- or they can "simply sit on the benches or chairs provided -- and comfortably watch the World Cup with others for free."There were only about "three dozen soccer fans in attendance for the Mexico-Sweden match, leaving plenty of room to spread out." However, there have been "crowds between 300-400 strong for weekend games." RSL is "expecting so many to attend the free watch parties when knockout play begins this weekend, it's going to gather RSVPs on its website." Because yesterday's match was an 8:00am MT start, RSL "wasn't expecting many to attend." ZBRA Dir of Marketing & Ticketing Jorge Perea said that he "anticipates a much bigger crowd for Monday morning's Round of 16 match between Mexico and Brazil (DESERET NEWS, 6/28).