Seattle's a soccer town; Let us prove it

Seattle's has a chance to cement its claim to Soccer City, USA.

UPDATE II: Looks like there are some very enthusiastic people working pretty hard to get something like this going in Pioneer Square. The big hang up is trying to get a projector that is powerful enough to work in daylight. If anyone out there has the kind of connections to help make sure this thing can happen, check out www.Alleyart.org.

UPDATE: Apparently, Seattle Center is pretty much booked during the World Cup. I have to imagine there's somewhere in Seattle that could accomodate this. Suggestions are certainly welcome.

Anyone who's had the pleasure of attending either of the last two World Cups knows the party is much bigger than whatever is going on in the stadium.

In Germany, for instance, the cities that hosted World Cup matches also held outdoor viewing parties.

After getting rebuffed in my attempt to acquire tickets to the U.S.-Czech Republic match, my wife and I attended one of these parties in Kaiserslautern.

The event, held in a small stadium just about a mile away from the stadium where the game was occurring, was free of charge and seemed almost as good as attending the actual game (at least that's what I tell myself...). Being able to watch the game in an outdoor setting along with thousands of other people was an absolute highlight of a trip that eventually took me all over Europe.

My point, though, isn't to brag about my globe-trotting past. Rather, it's a plea for the Sounders, Seattle power brokers or whoever else might have the pull to make something like this happen here.

What exactly is "this"? FIFA is hosting outdoor viewing parties in cities such as Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Berlin and Rio de Janeiro, as well as all nine host South African cities. 

Now, there's a movement to get a similar event in Washington D.C. Why not have something similar in Seattle?

The biggest issue is, unfortunately, time. The deadline to apply for the FIFA-sponsored event is Friday, and unless something like this is already in the works, it seems doubtful that anything officially sanctioned can happen here.

Still, it seems to be worth a shot. Just imagine how much fun it would be for Seattle to play host to one of these events at Seattle Center. Sure, bars and restaurants all around the city will be showing the games. ECS is even hosting a viewing party for the U.S.-England match at Neumo's. But watching the game on a TV indoors just is not the same as watching it on a huge screen outside.

Assuming there's not enough demand to host these events for every match, and since many of them are pretty early in the morning, I'd suggest holding the events only on days in which the US team plays during the round-robin round. I'd also suggest holding these events for the semi-finals and finals.

Seattle is still on the short-list for the United States' bid for the World Cup. Proving we can make an event such as this a success would be a long way toward boosting our credentials within both the U.S. bid and the U.S.'s bid to FIFA.

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