It's not the Super Bowl, but World Cup will have its share of parties
By Steve Ginsburg
(Reuters) - The women's World Cup final between the United States and Japan on Sunday may not rival the Super Bowl, but soccer fans, wild with excitement, will be at viewing parties in bars, museums and homes across America.
In Chicago, U.S. Soccer will host a Lincoln Park extravaganza on the shores of Lake Michigan, where soccer-mad revelers will watch the title match on a 19-by-33 foot, high-definition screen.
Last summer's viewing party for the men's World Cup drew 28,000 people to Chicago's Soldier Field.
Sunday's game, in Vancouver, Canada, will be a grudge match of sorts as the Americans lost the 2011 World Cup final to Japan on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw.
The World Cup has already become a bonanza for merchandisers and television broadcasters as the United States seeks its first championship since 1999, when the Americans defeated China.
Randy Vogt, the manager at Robson Sports in downtown Vancouver, said demand for USA gear has been hot. He sold out of jerseys ahead of the USA-Nigeria game and on Thursday received another batch on special order.
"By Sunday they'll be gone," he said. "Having the U.S. in the final is great for our business."
Fox Sports said 8.4 million viewers on average tuned in for the team USA’s semi-final win against Germany this week, and at one point in the game about 12 million people were watching. Continued...