COLUMBUS, Ohio - Over 330 fans showed up today at Crew Stadium's "Cup Headquarters" viewing parties to watch the opening two games of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Crew Stadium is once again serving as "Cup Headquarters" and will host viewing parties for all 64 games of the World Cup in Germany that will be televised live on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2.
Admission to "Cup Headquarters" is free and complimentary snacks and Pepsi products will be provided. Budweiser product will be available for purchase, including tournament specials. In addition to juicy Bob Evans bratwursts being available for just $1 throughout the entire tournament, Best Buy will also provide TVs for the event. The games will be shown in the Stadium Club tent located just west of the stadium, via Time Warner Cable service.
Prizes will be given away daily, including a grand prize from Time Warner Cable. The grand prize is a free one-year package from Time Warner Cable that includes Basic, Standard and Premier Digital Cable service, including one digital set-top terminal and remote, the monthly Channel Guide, the MLS Direct Kick Digital Sports Package, residential Road Runner High Speed Online service, Digital Phone service with unlimited calling anywhere in the U.S. and Canada and standard installation, a value of up to $1,800. Winners must live in an area serviceable by Time Warner Cable, Mid-Ohio Division, and be 18 years or older. Other restrictions may apply. The Crew will have a complete list of rules on site. Visitors to "Cup Headquarters" can register once per day. The grand prize will be given away at halftime of the World Cup Final on July 9.
Time Warner Cable will also give away five MLS Direct Kick Digital Sports Packages, with free upgrade connection on one TV, throughout the tournament. Winners must be 18 years or older and current subscribers to Time Warner Digital Cable, Mid-Ohio Division. Other restrictions may apply. Budweiser, an official 2006 FIFA World Cup partner, will also be giving away prizes during the viewing parties.
The World Cup began today, June 9, when host Germany defeated Costa Rica, 4-2, and runs through the July 9 final. The World Cup is the most anticipated and watched sporting event in the world. Thirty-two nations qualify for the World Cup Finals, which are held every four years, and they are drawn into eight groups of four. The top two teams in each group, after a three-game round-robin, advance to the Round of 16, which begins the knockout phase of the competition.
Crew Stadium hosted the largest viewing parties in the United States for the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan and had over 25,000 people attend the 64 matches that were televised at the stadium, despite the games being televised in the middle of the night and early morning. Over 7,500 were in attendance for the U.S-Germany quarterfinal match. Germany is six hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone.
Cup Headquarters will feature wireless internet for people who would like to bring their work to Crew Stadium and watch the games. The Crew Soccer Tour will be set up just north of the Stadium Club tent and will provide interactive games, while the "Cup Information Center" will have all the current scores, standings, statistics, news articles and press releases related to the Cup.
The United States is competing in its record fifth-straight World Cup, and will battle the Czech Republic, Italy and Ghana in group play. The first match for the U.S. is against the Czech Republic on Monday, June 12, at 11:55 a.m. The U.S. qualifying road went directly through Columbus and Crew Stadium as the U.S. clinched a spot in the 2006 World Cup by defeating Mexico, 2-0, on Sept. 3, 2005, in final round qualifying.
Former Crew and U.S. National Team great Brad Friedel will attend "Cup Headquarters" on Monday, June 12, for the first U.S. game. Friedel, currently one of the top goalkeepers in the English Premier League with Blackburn Rovers, will sign autographs from 11:30-11:55 a.m. and then remain at Crew Stadium to watch the U.S. game. U.S. Soccer merchandise will also be available for purchase at the U.S. games, starting Monday, June 12.
The complete tournament viewing schedule can be found at TheCrew.com.