One of the biggest sporting events in the world, the FIFA World Cup, kicks off on Sunday and there are plenty of watch parties to choose from, in sports bars of course, but also in unusual venues like the waterfront Rady Shell.
In addition to the good old red, white and blue, there are also local connections. The US men’s national team features a San Diego, La Jolla midfielder Luca de la Torre.
The Torrey Pines High graduate will be joined by three other Southern California players — Oak Hills defenseman Aaron Long, Pico Rivera midfielder Cristian Roldan and Los Angeles forward Haji Wright.
The World Cup opens on Sunday, but the USA begin their game against Wales at 11am on Monday. Their next games – both also at 11am – are against England on Friday and Iran on November 29.
how to watch let’s help
The event, which takes place every four years, takes place in Qatar on the Persian Gulf and lasts until mid-December. USA are one of 32 teams divided into eight groups of four. The USA are in Group B with England, Iran and Wales. The fields narrow on December 3, with the Group B winner taking on the Group A runner-up. Quarterfinals begin on December 9th, semifinals on December 13th and final on December 18th. France is the defending champion.
Contact Fox5 San Diego or FS1. The US opener is on Fox.
bars and restaurants
Some focus exclusively on US games, while others are taking on other countries. Here is a selection:
- Jamul Casino offers all games including Sunday’s opening game at 8am, Qatar vs Ecuador. Matches will be shown live on the JIVe Lounge’s new 10′ x 18′ HD screen wall. Cocktails associated with competing countries are also offered at most viewing parties.
- Head to the Barleymash in the Gaslamp and the Smoking Gun for US parties. Both open at 10 a.m. on match days.
- Pacific Beach’s Mavericks Beach Club, with 38 big-screen TVs, hosts watch parties for US games and Brazil – 11am on Thanksgiving, November 28th and December 2nd.
- Novo Brazil Brewing Company is opening its Chula Vista, Otay Ranch and new Imperial Beach locations early during the group stage matches of the World Cup for Mexico – Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. against Poland, Saturday at 11:00 a.m. against Argentina and on June 30 November at 11:00 against Saudi Arabia. From the round of 16, each location will open earlier, including for 7 a.m. games.
The San Diego Symphony and San Diego Loyal are jointly hosting free watch parties on Friday and Saturday – first USA vs England, then Mexico vs Argentina. Doors open daily at 10:30am, half an hour before games. Bring a picnic or enjoy Shell vendors including Biga Pizza, Lola55, Kitchens for Good and for cocktails Shell Provisions. RSVPs are encouraged – do so online, here for Friday’s US game and here for the Mexico game.
gas lamp district
Also outdoors, the Gaslamp Quarter will host street viewing parties throughout next weekend, beginning Friday for the 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. games on Fifth Avenue and Island Avenue. There will be a drink garden for all ages, games, giveaways, raffles and more. Free tickets can be requested online.
San Diego Library – 3 branches
The downtown Central, Linda Vista, and Pacific Beach branch libraries will each broadcast 17 live World Cup games starting at 11:00 am, including the quarterfinals and semifinals, during library hours, Monday through December 14. See the list of games to view.