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McClatchy-Tribune  06/23/2014 12:01 AM ET
World Cup brings large crowd to area bars, pubs [Dayton Daily News, Ohio :: ]

June 23--Fans of U.S. soccer stood in silence at area bars as Sunday's night FIFA World Cup game ended in a tie as Uruguay scored in the last minute of the game.

Despite the stunning outcome, local bars and pubs said they have prospered from the large crowds that have showed up to watch World Cup games this month.

Bar managers said hundreds of people have packed into their establishments to watch the month-long international soccer matches in Brazil, which started on June 12.

"Our first USA game, it was like St. Patrick's Day in here," said Stacey Taylor, a manager at The Pub in The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek.

An estimated 250 squeezed into the pub to watch the USA team compete in its first match during the tournament, according to Taylor.

Germany and Italy matches have been lucrative as well, Taylor said.

"Last night alone, we made almost $20,000," she said. "World Cup had a lot to do with that."

World Cup fans started arriving around 10 a.m., an hour before the establishment opened, to get a seat for the game on Sunday, Taylor said.

Shawn Strausburg, who drove to the Pub from Union, said the day was about unity as much as it was soccer.

"I mean, you've got to come together for this," he said. "You can't help it."

Sitting next to Strausburg was Michael Graham, a former soccer player who also said the World Cup's rising popularity can be attributed to patriotism.

"We're all together," Graham said. "It's the only time we can root as a nation for one soccer team."

Tim Furlow, a manager at the Dublin Pub in Dayton's Oregon District, said about 200 people attended Sunday.

"It's fantastic as far as everybody's interest in soccer," Furlow said. "Everbody's collective spirit about the United States, it's nice to feel a little bit of that every once in a while."

The soccer tournament also has increased sales at Buffalo Wild Wings, a sports bar in Kettering, according to Antonio Kehoe, a manager. Kehoe said the business experienced a similar sales increase when the University of Dayton men's basketball team played in the NCAA tournament in March.

"The very first USA World Cup game was one of our better selling days in the whole month," Kehoe said Sunday. "And today we're expecting the same. Anytime there's anything going on national like that people flock in here."

 

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