Not in Brazil? Where to watch the World Cup


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).

Miami International Airport has soccer fever – and soccer art

Miami International Airport – the major connecting airport for thousands of fans heading to the World Cup in Brazil – is deep into soccer fever.

The airport’s own ‘soccer season’ kicked off last Thursday with the unveiling of a soccer-themed art show called Show Your Colors that features original artwork by more than a dozen students from the Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH) located in Miami’s Design District.

Here’s a sample:


Look for this and other artwork in the airport’s North Terminal, by Gate D30, which serves many of the American Airlines flights bound for Brazil.

In addition to Show Your Colors, during the coming weeks MIA will be hosting interactive pop-up soccer fields with professional soccer players, musical performances with a Brazilian beat and Nintendo Wii Soccer game stations. Fans will also be able to buy World Cup gear and find a variety of special soccer-related offers at the airport shops and restaurants.

I bet there are plenty of bars with big screens showing the matches as well.


Whales, sales & soccer at MIA airport

All sorts of news this week from Miami International Airport (MIA).

There’s a new exhibition of photography and video documenting the migration of whales from Alaska and Hawaii to Latin American, including Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

Look for Giants/Rutas de Gigantes in the airport’s South Terminal international greeter’s lobby.

MIA WHALE Jason Isley

Jason Isley/Scubazoo/Fundación Albatros Media

This week MIA also opened an online store to sell caps and mugs with the airport’s classic logo.

MIA MUG“We actually got the idea from a celebrity we saw online wearing an imitation cap with our logo,” said MIA spokesman Greg Chin. “After we tracked down the store and took legal action against them to stop selling the merchandise, our Airport Director got the idea to sell the real merchandise ourselves!”

And, to celebrate the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, which kicks off June 12 in Sao Paulo, MIA has an ambitious line-up of activities for all the fans that will be flying to Brazil through MIA.



From late May through mid-July, the airport will be hosting interactive pop-up soccer fields with professional soccer players, soccer-inspired artwork by local students from Miami’s Design and Architecture Senior High, surprise musical performances (with a Brazilian beat) and Nintendo Wii Soccer game stations.  Shops will be selling soccer team souvenirs and gear and many of the shops will be having special offers.

Samba at Singapore’s Changi Airport

This sounds like fun:

To celebrate Singapore Airlines’ new direct service from Singapore to Sao Paolo, Brazil, Changi Airport isn’t just having a kick-off party; it’s staging a month-long “Fly to Brazil” carnival, complete with exhibits, attractions and prizes throughout the airport.

The celebration will include booths offering a chance to play Brazilian games, opportunities to get photographed wearing Brazilian party clothes, and regular performances of Brazilian music and dance, with instructors on hand to teach samba and other Brazilian dance moves.

And anyone who spends S$10 in the airport shops and restaurants  will get an entry in a “Fly to Brazil” ticket raffle.

Changi’s “Fly to Brazil” carnival runs through March 27th, in the Departure Hall of Terminal 3 and the Departure Transit Mall of Terminals 2 and 3.