As the Canadian Men’s National Soccer team prepares for their first appearance at the World Cup in 36 years, Brantford and Brant residents will have a special opportunity to watch each of the games alongside other fans.
Ben Strasser, owner of All-Day Breakfast: The Creative Agency, said that he is excited to host World Cup Watch parties in Harmony Square in partnership with Hudson Public.
“This is a really special sports spectacle that we get to witness,” he said. “When the team qualified for the World Cup, it was obviously a really big deal. We were talking with the owner of Hudson Public and thought it would be really cool to be able to bring these watch parties to Harmony Square. It’s a chance to bring the public together to really celebrate the fact that Canada has made it this far.”
The businesses will host parties for each of Canada’s preliminary games, and will continue them if the team moves on in the tournament.
“It’s going to be a very unique Canadian experience,” Strasser said. “We’re going to be outside in November and December, potentially with snow on the ground and people skating on the rink. It doesn’t really get more Canadian than that. We will have heaters to try to keep people warm, but witnessing Canadian sports history with a big group will be such a cool experience.”
The World Cup is one of the most-watched events on television, expected to draw five billion viewers throughout the tournament and roughly 227 million viewers daily. For comparison, the last Super Bowl drew 99 million viewers.
“Few things bring people together like sports, especially on a national level,” he said. “There is a special magic about sports, we saw it with the women’s national team and we’re seeing it again with the men getting into this tournament. It was important for us and our sponsors to get involved to provide the community with a place to gather and enjoy the sport spectacle, especially when the soccer community is so large in Brantford.”
Strasser said that he hopes that people can look past the weather to join other fans to support the team at the events.
“I’m hoping that this is something that attendees can walk away from and remember for a very long time,” he said. “To be able to look back in the future and remember where they were when Canada made this appearance in the World Cup will be so special. Whether or not they win or lose, it’s Canadian sports history.”
The free watch parties take place in Harmony Square on each Canadian game day and details of game times can be found on the event’s Facebook page. Attendees are encouraged to dress according to the weather and bring their Canadian spirit.