As the city begins its quest to try and bring the World Cup to Atlanta in 2018 or 2022, preparations for viewing parties for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa are in full effect. Beginning with the kick-off on June 11 and the U.S.A debut on June 12, soccer fanatics will be scrambling to find a seat in front of a TV showing the action.
In a patriotic celebration of the World Cup (and the U.S.A’s first game), the South African-American Chamber of Commerce and the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S. are hosting Atlanta Soccer Fest on June 12 in Cabbagetown Park. Complete with big-screen TV broadcasts of both the Argentina vs. Nigeria game at 10 a.m. and the U.S.A. vs. England game at 2:30 p.m., the family event will also feature soccer skill competitions for the kids, a bounce house, vendors and music from radio stations V-103 and Dave FM. Proceeds from the event benefit SOS Children’s Villages and SOS’ emergency relief efforts in Haiti.
Several Atlanta bars and restaurants will also be airing the games throughout the month-long event, catering to soccer fanatics escaping the office on their lunch hour to catch their favorite team and weekend warriors waking up at the crack of dawn to catch the early morning matches.
Sure to attract a crowd, Fado Irish Pub in Buckhead is showing all 64 World Cup matches live and hosting a fantasy version of the worldwide extravaganza. To participate in the free Fado/Tigin Fantasy World Cup 2010, patrons select 11 of their favorite international superstars and sit back and enjoy a drink while watching their superstars score points that will give them the chance to win prizes up for grabs at the bar.
Meehan’s Public House, with locations in the Vinings and Sandy Springs as well as a new location downtown, will also turn into an Atlanta headquarters for the World Cup. Opening early on select days, Meehan’s is broadcasting all the matches on a huge projector screen and will offer daily food and drink specials as well as raffles.
The Nook on Piedmont Park is showing the games on multiple TVs, including a 10-foot HD projection screen. Throughout the soccer madness, this cozy intown spot is offering $3.50 pints of Guinness and $3 Shots on goal. The Nook will also host a “Nook Passport Competition” where patrons can earn points towards a prize package for watching games, wearing a team jersey, etc.
When the World Cup matches are over on July 11, Atlanta will continue the soccer celebration by hosting a exhibition soccer game at the Georgia Dome on July 28 between Manchester City and Club America.
So, even if your not a soccer aficionado, get out and see what the World Cup celebration is all about.
[photo courtesy of Isak Aronsson]