Not going to Brazil? You can still catch the World Cup.
Soccer fans unable to see the 2014 FIFA World Cup festivities in person June 12 through July 13 can still get in on the action. Special soccer-themed events and promotions can be found across the country, from Miami to New York to Seattle.
No matter what city you’re in, there’s likely a bar nearby with a TV screen that will be tuned to the latest game. Find fellow fans by consulting the directory of official U.S. Soccer bars or this list put together by ESPN and Pinterest pinners.
With a city already full of passionate soccer fans, Miami is celebrating its status as the “Gateway to Brazil” with exhibition matches and events ranging from admission discounts at the Miami Seaquarium for those wearing the colors of teams advancing toward the finals to poolside viewing parties with giveaways and entertainment at hotels such as the Fontainebleu Miami Beach and the Clevelander South Beach Hotel.
Miami International Airport has a full month of events scheduled throughout the terminals as well.
“We’re World Cup ready,” said William Talbert, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We have billboards welcoming World Cup fans and a special website of event listings that’s already 22 pages long.”
The Paley Center for Media is offering free World Cup screenings and events at both its New York City and Beverly Hills locations, beginning with the opening match (Brazil versus Croatia) on June 12 and ending with the 2014 FIFA World Cup Title Match on July 13.
Chicago will host three free viewing parties for the U.S. Men’s National Team matches in local parks. The USA’s opener against Ghana on June 16 and the U.S.-Portugal match June 22 can be seen at Arvey Field in Grant Park, while the Petrillo Music Shell at Butler Field will show the June 26 U.S.-Germany match. Each event will feature ESPN’s live feed of the matches displayed on a large high-definition screen and a U.S. Soccer Fan Fest area.
Cincinnati’s Fountain Square will also host free outdoor viewing parties for the three US Men’s National Team’s first round matches in the World Cup this summer. On June 16, 22 and 26, the games will be broadcast on the Square’s large outdoor screen, which usually shows Cincinnati Reds baseball games. The parties will also feature live DJs, food, beer from local breweries and activities for all ages.
Plenty of bars and restaurants around the country will be serving up special soccer-themed meals and drinks, such as the caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail. In Santa Monica, Shutters on the Beach has put together a “World Cup of Wine” menu with wines from every participating World Cup country. Once a team is knocked out, their wine will be removed from the list. Securing wine from some of the countries has been a challenge, but “I am certain we will be purchasing more Italian and German wines and very likely the Brazilian Chardonnay Lidio Carraro Dadivas,” said hotel general manager Gregory Day.
In Portland, Oregon, home of popular Timbers soccer club, there will be a family-friendly, pop-up World Cup Beer Garden open from 8:30 a.m. till 9 p.m. showing every single World Cup game live, as well as replays and highlights. Soccer fans can enjoy local craft beers, cocktails, coffee, food and free Wi-Fi.
The Seattle Sounders FC is partnering with Nord Alley for free live-viewing parties in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. On July 13, the club will host its own World Cup Final viewing party, with a full day of soccer-related activities capped off by an evening match against the Portland Timbers.
(My round-up of Where to Watch the World Cup first appeared on NBC News Travel).