CT fans ready to watch USA soccer game in New Haven's village - FOX Carolina 21

CT fans ready to watch USA soccer game in New Haven's World Cup village

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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

Whether you call it soccer or futbol, World Cup fever is spreading all across Connecticut.

No place is drawing bigger crowds than in downtown New Haven and its World Cup Village. More than a thousand folks are preparing to watch the United States take on Belgium at 4 p.m.

People started gathering here before noon to watch the first game on Tuesday with the crowds growing throughout the afternoon leading up to the United States match.

Organizers say the turnouts have been so successful since the start of the World Cup, the city is actually looking at expanding this type of event. 

With their eyes glued to the tube, New Haven's Pitkin Plaza was packed and overflowing with plenty of passion. The Elm City has suddenly become the soccer city and Amanda Demers, of Norwalk, and her friends love it.

"I saw the video, the footage of it, seemed like an exciting thing," Demers said. "It  made us come down here."

No surprise it's the U.S. that draws the biggest crowds to the World Cup Village, but no matter the games, fans have been turning out. They have enjoyed the world's biggest sporting event along with some unbelievable weather. 

For most, it's all about the red, white and blue, but for neighboring businesses, there's plenty of green.

The owner of O'Tooles Irish Pub, who approached the city about forming the World Cup Village, said the summer is usually slow. Now they're up about 40 percent.

"It just grew from a couple of guys watching a couple of soccer Ames at the start to a thousand people watching the last USA game," said Damian Cashman, of O'Tooles.

It's been such a success, the city is considering holding more of these types of outdoor viewing parties for other big sporting events.

"I think the community decides," said Win Davis, of the Town Green District. "They came to us asking if we wanted to do something with the World Cup and it was a fantastic opportunity, so whether it's basketball, cycling - with the Devil's Gear bike shop here, they mentioned maybe the Tour de France - the possibilities are truly endless."

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