Bay Area businesses win big with World Cup

June 26, 2010 5:48:39 PM PDT
Fans across the country cheered the United States' biggest World Cup match in eight years Saturday. Sadly, all the support was not enough and the U.S. lost in extra time to Ghana.

The real winners may have been Bay Area businesses.

Excitement filled the room at Zeke's Bar in San Francisco. For the first time in eight years, the USA made it to round two. There, they faced off against the tiny African nation of Ghana and the patriotism was everywhere, because for some, the World Cup has become less about the sport and more about national pride.

"I'm a fan of the United States of America and I'm pulling for my team and my country," Bill Daniels of Walnut Creek told ABC7.

"We're all Americans today," Corey Allen of San Francisco said.

There was a sense of unity even when Ghana scored a second time. There was only one person in the entire place happy about Ghana's victory. The lone fan was Kevin Monroe.

"It's alright. I can handle myself," he said.

Monroe grew up playing soccer in Trinidad, which like Ghana, was a British colony. He has always followed World Cup soccer, which has only recently caught on in the U.S.

"People didn't even know I was wearing the Ghana uniform until they read it," he said. "That's how much people know about futbol here. They don't even that know I'm against them."

However, one very large group that is glad World Cup fever is growing is local business owners. On an average Saturday, there are only about 20 people at Zeke's Bar. On Saturday, there was a lot more.

And, it is not just bars that are doing well because of the World Cup. Sporting goods shops are selling out of the most popular team shirts.

"We're sold out of the USA, especially the blue jersey, the away. That one sells really fast. The white, we had a second shipment in and it sold out the first day," said Noel Guzman at Elite Sports.

Now that the U.S. is out of World Cup contention, some stores in the Mission are shifting their focus.

"We're rooting for Mexico, so a lot of Mexican people are coming in and getting their stuff, representing their country," said Regina Romano at Mex-Cal.

Many stores do not plan to order anymore USA shirts until after the World Cup is over.


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