World Cup Fever Erupts As Fans Pack Bricktown

Thursday, June 26th 2014, 6:28 pm
By: News 9

The excitement for soccer has kicked into high gear, thanks in large part to the World Cup. And just like the rest of the nation, the sport itself has a new found interest right here in Oklahoma City.

The crowds, the cheering, the involvement in soccer are all signs of one of the most popular World Cups in US history. That popularity is spreading across the metro.

Listen and you can hear the excitement around soccer from Bricktown. Several Miles away the chatter is quieter. That's only because the future of soccer, 5-year-old Jett Harrison is focusing on what he does best.

"Trying to score goals and take the ball," said Jett.

But Jett isn't alone. While soccer has had its slips and falls in the US, this time around General Manager of soccer city, OKC Matt Fansher has seen an overall boost in interest and business.

"It helps to see the kids leave and see it on TV and think I was playing soccer and so are they. They can do that with baseball or basketball, but now to see it with soccer and in the news, the kids just love getting to see all those aspects," said Fansher.

"We've added TV's. Our concession sales are up because people are staying and watching as a group."

Parents are also taking note.

"We're here Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays," said soccer mom, Rebecca Ross.

Ross is a soccer player herself, but also a mother of two young soccer stars.

"They sit on the sofa and want to know who's going to this goal, so they're asking questions they weren't [asking] before," said Rebecca.

Fansher just hopes with the World Cup and pro teams in and around Oklahoma City the interest will sustain.

"We've been at a real tipping point and think this is it that tips it for that," said Fansher.

Jett's goal is to play for a lifetime. The US did not win today's match, but they do advance based on a points system. So Jett and all the fans behind can continue to cheer for the US.

The US soccer team will play Tuesday at 3 p.m. against Belgium.

Learn more about Soccer City.