SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It wasn’t a typical Thursday at de Vere’s Irish Pub as lunch went a little longer for many who came to watch the first match of this year’s World Cup.
Most cheered for the host country Brazil in its opening 3-1 win over Croatia.
The excitement of the world’s most popular sporting event is providing a boost to local businesses.
“We had an incredible turnout four years ago and we’ve established ourself as the place to come to watch soccer. So we are expecting a great turnout,” said de Vere’s owner Simon de Vere.
Fans and bar owners we spoke to agree that interest in soccer is up from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The owner credits some of the buzz to the Sacramento Republic’s success.
“Having the republic here and all of the excitement they brought to Sacramento is definitely going to heighten the turnout,” de Vere said.
The pride that comes from the fans is just as strong with the players. The Republic’s goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, who played for New Zealand’s national team, says there is nothing like wearing your country’s colors.
“The honor of playing for your country is something you can’t really replicate,” he said.