World Cup Soccer Viewing Party Draws Big Crowd at Rady Shell

Thousands ventured to downtown San Diego's premiere bayside venue to watch Team USA vs. England

An estimated crowd of 5,000-plus showed up for an 11 a.m. World Cup Soccer viewing party on Friday, Nov. 25, at downtown San Diego’s Rady Shell at Jacobs Park.

There were viewing parties all over downtown for the highly anticipated match between Team USA and England. The game finished in a scoreless tie.

No local crowd was larger than the one assembled on the Astroturf viewing area next to San Diego Bay in front of the world-class, 92-by 57-foot, pristine white stage.

The Rady Shell is the outdoor home to the San Diego Symphony. One symphony season ticket holder is Andrew Vassiliadis, chairman of the three-year-old San Diego Loyal professional soccer team.

“When we were thinking about a watch party, this was the number-one place we wanted to be,” he says.

The Loyal play in the United Soccer League, this country’s second-tier league (below the Major Soccer League).

San Diego Loyal chairman Andrew Vassiliadis.

There was a heavy Loyal presence at the World Cup viewing event, and that thrilled Vassiliadis.

He believes the crowd was a mix of Loyal fans who were eager to watch Team USA in a World Cup match as well as soccer fanatics who are getting more familiar with the hometown team.

Vassiliadis says the team captured 5,300 new emails from people who made reservations for free tickets to the event.

The Loyal and even more soccer fans will be back at the Rady Shell on Saturday, Nov. 26, for another viewing party. That game features a World Cup matchup between Mexico and Argentina.

Fans are permitted to bring folding chairs and their own food to the viewing parties. Alcohol cannot be brought into the facility. Food and alcohol are sold onsite at Rady Shell.

A Loyal spokesperson says more than 22,000 RSVPs were received for both the Team USA and Mexico view-party games at the Rady Shell on Friday and Saturday. SDSun


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