World Cup Fever Packs Downtown Tulsa Bars
TULSA, Oklahoma - It may have been the middle of the work day, but that didn't stop soccer fans from crowding into the Blue Dome District to watch the World Cup. The Americans lost 1-0 to Germany, but Portugal beat Ghana 2-1, so the USA advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup.
Even before the game began, local bars like Fassler Hall, were packed with people cheering on the U.S. team.
It was the third time Fassler Hall – a German-themed bar - hosted a huge crowd to watch the U.S. team on the big screen inside, and people started pouring in an hour-and-a-half early to get a seat.
Mike Thomas with the American Outlaws Tulsa Chapter, said, "It's a work day, people are taking off work, taking long lunches and they love it man. We're out here supporting them (U.S. Men's Soccer Team) and we're all behind these guys in Brazil."
As the U.S. Men's Soccer Team headed into its third match of the World Cup, Tulsa bars started filling up with supporters.
"I've been a few places for the U.S. games and this is one of the most amped up place that you can go to," said soccer fan Kristen Eckenfels.
Even at noon on a Thursday, people found a way to take time off to show their support.
"We haven't had a good following for football (soccer) here in The States for a long, long, time. I think it's incredible," said Germany supporter, Erika Quinn.
"It's been amazing. We've been at capacity, if not more every game. People in Tulsa are loving it you know," Thomas said.
Thomas and the Tulsa Chapter of American Outlaws make Fassler Hall their home during World Cup matches. TV's line the bar, and fans rally in support trying to cheer through the screen.
Fassler Hall's maximum occupancy is somewhere around 300 people, but Thursday afternoon it was standing room only.
"I love that soccer is the one sport that can bring the entire world together," said U.S. supporter Kim Hayes.
Thomas said, "Tulsa is coming out to support this thing and it's awesome man. Soccer is thriving here in Tulsa."
The U.S. team advanced and the bars are expected to be packed again next Tuesday for another round of World Cup Soccer.