World Cup outdoor viewing party on Sunday

Richmond’s largest outdoor high-def TV screen will show three games, including the US vs. Portugal.

The largest high-definition LED screen in Richmond will broadcast three World Cup matches, including the US vs. Portugal game, during an outdoor viewing party this Sunday from 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM at 1 W. Grace Street.

“We started planning for this event back in November of last year, but I would say the seed was planted during the World Cup in 2010,” said Hunter Leemon, Director of Sales for the Richmond Kickers, via email. “Everyone in our organization saw the impact that various viewing parties had during the tournament in 2010–Kansas City; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco to name a few–and we really believed that RVA had a strong enough soccer culture to do the same thing.”

The broad appeal of the World Cup meant that soccer fans of all stripes, including casual fans, would want to partake. “We wanted to create an event that allowed people to come together to celebrate both the game of soccer and our national team,” Leemon said. “We really wanted to provide a venue where the entire community was invited to experience the passion and energy of the tournament.”

It took five months for organizers to secure the proper site, located behind the downtown YMCA at the corner W. Grace and Foushee streets. Organizers then had to get permission from FIFA, the international soccer federation behind the World Cup that’s known for meticulous protection of its copyrights and trademarks. “After much dialogue and help from our friends at US Soccer we finally received the necessary permits from FIFA on June 3rd,” Leemon said. The partners1 behind the event then rushed to put the final touches on the event.

In addition to the games, vendors will be on hand, including Carytown Burgers & Fries, Papa John’s, Loveland Distributing, and Strictly Soccer, among others. In addition to on-street parking, there are over five public parking lots near the event’s site. No outside alcohol or dogs are permitted, but lawn chairs are allowed.

Here are Sunday’s games:

  • 12:00 PM • Belgium vs. Russia
  • 3:00 PM • Korea Republic vs. Algeria
  • 6:00 PM • US vs. Portugal

“We want people from all over the region to come and experience the passion and energy of ‘the beautiful game’ while rooting on the US,” Leemon said. “When the US played on Monday it was incredible to see the energy level and enthusiasm all over the city. Our hope is that we can bring that same level of excitement to the event on Sunday and celebrate among friends. We can’t wait.”

  1. US Soccer, Venture Richmond, Sports Backers, the YMCA, Richmond Kickers, American Outlaws Richmond chapter, and the City of Richmond. 
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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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