They came from near and far to cheer on the home team, filling the SteelStacks campus in Bethlehem, Pa. to capacity as chants of U.S.A. echoed throughout the old Bethlehem Steel mill that once built America. When all was said and done, more than 10,000 people showed up to support the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team during its huge match against Portugal, pushing attendance at the inaugural FIFA World Cup(TM) SoccerFest and Viewing Party at SteelStacks to more than 35,000 guests.
“SteelStacks was designed to be a community gathering place that would bring our region together throughout the year for unique occasions and special events,” says Curt Mosel, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for ArtsQuest, the nonprofit arts organization serving as the host for the SoccerFest and Viewing Party at SteelStacks. “The World Cup is the most popular sporting event in the world, uniting countries and cultures in celebration. We’ve definitely seen this at SteelStacks, with members of our diverse community coming together to watch the matches, cheer on their teams and celebrate every big moment along the way.”
The FIFA World Cup(TM) SoccerFest and Viewing Party featured two long weekends, June 12-16 and 19-22, filled with soccer programming, activities and family fun, plus all the FIFA World Cup Brazil(TM) action shown on a giant outdoor LED screen on SteelStacks’ Air Products Town Square.
Among the highlights of the festival were a visit from ESPN for live look-ins during the U.S. vs. Ghana match June 16, a free Philadelphia Union street soccer clinic for more than 300 children June 14, and two Soccer Clinics for Children with Disabilities presented by Good Shepherd Pediatrics and Lehigh Valley United on June 20. The two largest crowds that came out to watch the games on the giant screen were for the U.S.’s first two matches in the World’s Cup’s opening round, with more than 8,000 attending for the U.S. vs. Ghana game, and 10,000 coming together for the U.S. vs. Portugal match.
While the FIFA World Cup(TM) SoccerFest has officially ended, the soccer celebration at SteelStacks will continue since fans can watch all the action from Brazil on SteelStacks’ two other outdoor screens, including the hugely important U.S. vs. Germany match on June 26. For more information on the SoccerFest and the remaining World Cup viewing schedule, visit www.lvsoccerfest.com.