Tuesday’s World Cup viewing party moves to Soldier Field
BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporter June 29, 2014 7:53PM
Fans watch the World Cup Soccer match between U.S.A and Germany Thursday at the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park. | Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 1, 2014 1:14PM
Soldier Field will play host to the next World Cup viewing party when the U.S. Men’s National Team takes on Belgium at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Stadium gates will open at 1:30 p.m. and admission will be free, although regular Soldier Field parking rates will apply, according to U.S. Soccer officials.
The match will be aired on the giant video board on the north end of the stadium, and fans will be allowed on the field and in the stands.
Beer, pop and U.S. Soccer merchandise will be sold at the stadium.
It will be the U.S. team’s first game in the single elimination portion of the tournament, known as the Round of 16.
The game will take place at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil.
Belgium is ranked No. 11 in the most recent FIFA World Rankings and the U.S. team is No. 13.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann has some firsthand knowledge of how to defeat the Belgians.
On July 2, 1994, Germany — and Klinsmann — defeated Belgium 3-2 at Soldier Field to advance to the quarterfinals of the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Klinsmann scored a goal. The match happened almost exactly 20 years ago.
Soldier Field, with seating for 61,500 people, should accommodate the team’s growing Chicago fan base.
It’s not the first time the venue has been adjusted to allow for bigger crowds. Three different Grant Park sites have used thus far.
The crowd last week at the U.S. vs. Portugal game, held on a two-block stretch of Balbo Drive, filled quickly with about 20,000 fans, forcing police to deny admittance to some.
Thousands also showed up to watch the Thursday’s game against Germany on giant screens at Grant Park’s Petrillo Band Shell.