Rob Shareley, a owner of the British Bulldog Pub, likes hosting World Cup watch events. (Photo by Addison Hinkle)
Fans are gathering at various places throughout Columbia to cheer on the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team in their World Cup run.
Watch parties at the British Bulldog Pub, USC’s Russell House and Tin Roof made it easy for fans to gather for America’s first World Cup in eight years.
“I’ve just loved soccer my whole life,” said Tanner Lewis, a sophomore at USC who watched the game at USC. “Even if we’re not all routing for the same team, being around people is so much better than sitting alone watching it. So, being with a group of people it just makes it more fun. And, you know, if we score we celebrate together. And if we don’t, we sulk down together.”
Abi Diop, the chief officer of sustainability and inclusion for USC’s residence hall association, has been planning watch parties on-campus since the beginning of September.
“I grew up watching soccer, and I know it is a world sport that brings people together,” Diop said. “So, I kind of wanted something big … and (to) have … one place where students can come and watch together and be together and … share the love of sports with everyone.”
Rob Shareley, one of the owners of the British Bulldog Pub near Columbian Centre, in part built the idea for his restaurant around the World Cup.
“In 2010, me and two of my partners here were trying to go watch World Cup matches in Columbia,” Shareley said. “There was no place you could watch all the matches.”
The pub was opened in 2011 and has been packed since during World Cup competitions. The matches are on TV each day from late morning to early afternoon.
“(In) 2014, (when the World Cup was) in Brazil, we had a crazy time — 700 people,” Shareley said. “We had a big outdoor bar, so it was fun.”
There were 300 people there to watch the U.S. game against Wales, which ended in a 1-1 tie. The U.S. game against England ended in a 0-0 tie.
Tin Roof on Senate Street also is hosting World Cup watch parties. The Cock N’ Bull Pub on South Edisto Avenue also has food and drink specials scheduled around the World Cup.