Triad Fans Ready for Another World Cup Match
Soccer fans around the globe will gather again this week to watch their country fight for the title of World Cup Champion, and Winston-Salem is no exception.
Triad residents have been watching and celebrating the World Cup at various venues throughout the Piedmont area over the past few weeks. From block parties in downtown Winston-Salem to screenings at BB&T Ballpark, there is a place for every fan in Forsyth County to watch the U.S. score a goal or two.
On Sunday, hundreds of soccer fans flooded Fifth Street and the surrounding pubs to watch the United States go head-to-head with Portugal. Patrons witnessed a crushing tie that day, but Opie Kirby, the owner of Finnegan’s Wake on Trade Street, says that won’t curb the excitement for Thursday’s game. “Winston-Salem’s spirit towards the World Cup has been very enthusiastic,” he says. “When the U.S. plays, it’s like St. Patrick’s Day in here. It’s wall-to-wall people.”
Not only is the World Cup bringing more foot traffic downtown, it’s also bolstering sales at local businesses. Jason Brenner from The Soccer Shop on Reynolda Road says the interest in soccer in the United States has grown in the past few years, and these matches have been a good indication of that.
“We certainly have seen an increase in sales since the beginning of the World Cup,” Brenner says. “I think it’s related to a lot of people who usually don’t buy soccer-related items are coming in and buying things like a U.S. jerseys to support the county, so we’ve seen quite an increase in sales.”
The Soccer Shop has also hosted viewing parties for past games, and Brenner says he looks forward to watching the United States play Germany Thursday afternoon. The winner will advance to the Knockout Stage of the 2014 World Cup.
Aperture Cinema will open its doors at 11:30 a.m. for anyone interested in watching the game on their screens, and Finnegan’s Wake will do the same.
*Celia Spell is an intern at WFDD and a senior at Wake Forest University.