The massive World Cup soccer tournament is on, and there are lots of places to watch games in Minnesota.
The games begin Thursday, June 12 with a 3 p.m. match between Brazil and Croatia and runs through Sunday, July 13, with the 2 p.m. final.
If you can’t get out, you can also watch the games from home. To watch most games with English play-by-play commentary, you will need a pay TV subscription that includes ESPN. But you can also catch the vast majority of matches — in Spanish — on the local affiliate of Univision.
“Univision has a long relationship with FIFA, the World Cup Federation organizer. And this year, we will have 56 live games from Brazil out of the 64 total games of the tournament. We’ll offer free access to the World Cup games,” said Gustavo Mancilla, general manager of local Univision station, WUMN.
1. Joy of the People
Where: 890 Cromwell Ave., St. Paul
The St. Paul non-profit takes its name from “alegria do povo,” a Brazilian phrase literally meaning “joy of the people,” which according to the non-profit’s website expresses “the happiness of soccer played with beauty and passion.” JOTP focuses on teaching children the joy of soccer through “free play” soccer that lets children experiment with the sport in an unstructured setting. JOTP will show some weekday games and the organization’s gym will host games and activities for children, while the World Cup matches are broadcast on TV and radio, in both English and Spanish.
2. Midtown Global Market
Where: 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis
Games will be shown in the Globe Market’s three seating areas during its normal business hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Vendors with soccer ball balloons at their stands have World Cup specials throughout the tournament, which will also be listed on table-tents in the seating areas.
3. The Nomad World Pub
Where: 501 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis
This bar is really going all out for the World Cup again. “Nomad World Copa” is being held in the two-story bar and outside watching patio featuring 12 HDTVs and an outdoor Jumbotron. Through its partnership with Vita.mn, you can get the Nomad World Copa “Passport” anywhere that Viata.mn is distributed and collect “passport” stamps at the bar to win raffle prices.
4. Brit’s Pub
Where: 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Brit’s Pub was the favorite among Public Insight Network members who responded to our question about the best place to watch the World Cup and made Buzzfeed’s list of the The Best Bar To Watch The World Cup In All 50 States. The bar’s outdoor 10,000 sq. ft. lawn (usually used for lawn bowling) will be converted into World Cup central with games shown on a large projection screen.
5. The Sanneh Foundation World Cup viewing parties
Where:The 508 Pub (508 1st Ave. Minneapolis, where all games are shown), Brits Pub and Nomad World Pub, Minneapolis
The Sanneh Foundation will be hosting a series of watch parties. The Sanneh Foundation is a St. Paul-based non-profit started by former Team USA player Tony Sanneh, who played in the 2002 World Cup. The foundation raises money to teach at-risk children life skills through soccer. The foundation will be hosting watch parties at 508 at at 5 p.m., June 16th, for the Ghanna v. USA match; 5 p.m., June 22, for the USA v. Portugal match; 3 p.m., July for the semi-final match; and 2 p.m., July 13, for the final match. The rest of the Sanneh Foundation viewing party schedule is here.
6. Sweetwater Grille & Bar
Where: 161 St Anthony Ave, St. Paul
The Sweetwater Grille is an unassuming bar and restaurant in the Best Western Kelly Inn in St. Paul, but has become known as a soccer destination due to the passion owner Saeed Ghasemi has for the sport. Though Ghasemi is Iranian born, the former player, coach, and referee roots for Germany. A highlight of his time owning the bar is when Brazilian soccer star Romário de Souza Faria, a star on Brazil’s 1994 World Cup-winning squad, watched the Iran v. Germany game at Sweetwater during the 2006 world cup. The bar is also a frequent meeting spot for the Minnesota chapter of the American Outlaws, a group that has the mission of cheering on the U.S. National Team and spreading the popularity of soccer in the U.S.
7. The Local
Where: 931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
The Local is known for opening its doors to die-hard fans for early-morning international matches. The earliest kickoff this World Cup is 1 p.m. in Brazil (11 a.m. here in Minnesota), so that won’t be an issue during the World Cup. But there’s no doubt that if there’s a match being televised, you’ll be able to catch it at The Local.
8. Champps Minnetonka
Where: 1641 Plymouth Rd, Minnetonka
The Twin Cities World of Football Meetup group exchanges information on area recreational soccer teams seeking players, advertises pick-up soccer games, and gathers to watch international soccer matches. They’re having a number of Meetups to watch the world cup, including at Champps Minnetonka.
9. Dubh Linn Irish Brewpub
Where: 109 W. Superior Street, Duluth
If you wear your team’s jersey to the Dubh Linn to watch World Cup games, you’ll receive a 10% discount on your drinks. The brewpub made a special World Cup IPA to root on Team USA, and will also be serving Caipirinha, a Brazilian cocktail made with a local brandy made from cane sugar and limes. H/T PIN member Michael Bergum for the suggestion.
10. St. Paul’s GermanFest
Where: Historic Schmidt Brewery, 882 West 7th Street, St. Paul
The first annual St. Paul German Festival is being held during the World Cup, Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, 22. The festival will feature German food, music, dance, and art. There were also be two World Cup watching parties, Saturday, June 21, for Germany v. Ghana and Sunday, June 22 for USA v. Portugal.
Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments section.
(MPR News’ Marty Moylan contributed to this report.)