World Cup Interest Increases And Local Businesses Cash In - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

World Cup Interest Increases And Local Businesses Cash In

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World cup fever is rising. Soccer fans are gearing up for another team USA game Thursday. With Sunday's draw with Portugal said to be the most watched soccer game ever in the U.S. with more than 24.7 million viewers, some local businesses are running with the opportunity to draw in customers who again want to cheer on the Americans.

"I've watched every U.S. Game so far," said local soccer payer Ashley Sienko.

For those who play the sport competitively or for fun excitement over the World Cup is kind of a given. "People don't seem to follow it other times of year so it's pretty fun when the World Cup when everyone comes together to watch," said Amanda Skul.

That's what several Quad Cities area businesses have seen so far. Some, like Me & Billy, are planning watch parties with food and drink specials to attract large crowds.

"We were really taken by surprise how many people showed up. We were expecting around 30 and had somewhere around 100 show up," said Bill Collins, owner of Me & Billy.

That was for Sunday's game. Dozens dressed in red, white and blue and cheering on the U.S. players. Collins is hoping for the same thing Thursday. His businesses is among a few places opening the doors early for the daytime match against Germany.

"It brings new people downtown and brings people in the door that we really didn't expect," said Collins.

Initially, there didn't seem to be as big of a following this year. Now the ball is rolling, especially after a first-game victory against Ghana and a very exciting match against Portugal which many were able to catch either from home or out and about on Sunday. There may be more fair weather fans now but Collins is okay with that.

"We're going to keep doing it as long as the U.S. is still in the World Cup tournament," he said.

Those who won't be able to join a viewing party are making other plans to cheer on their team. "I'll be at work but I plan on watching at work on my computer," said Kelli Craddick.

Tomorrow's match against Germany is at 11 o'clock. The Americans need to win or tie for a guaranteed advance in the World Cup.

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