Charlotte is a “soccer city” amid the World Cup frenzy

Charlotte is a “soccer city” amid the World Cup frenzy

Fans packed into Romare Bearden Park to watch USA vs. Wales in the World Cup. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

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You’re probably experiencing FOMO if you weren’t at Romare Bearden Park Monday afternoon.

State of play: The park erupted when Tim Weah put USA up 1-0 against Wales, a game USA would go on to tie 1-1.

Why it matters: In case there was any question after Charlotte FC’s inaugural season, Charlotte is a “soccer city” as club president Joe LaBue said to the crowd in the park.

  • “People were questioning if this was a soccer city,” LaBue said. “I think this is another receipt to show.”

By the numbers: Around 5,000 people RSVP’d to the club’s watch party, LaBue told Axios.

  • Club owner David Tepper, inconspicuously donning a Charlotte FC jacket and baseball hat, made his way through the crowd, too, undisturbed by the thousands of fans.

The big picture: People wondered how Major League Soccer would do here. Even the league’s commissioner Don Garber told Axios they “never expected” Charlotte to have the “excitement and energy of what’s going on in Charlotte today.”

  • But the team smashed the league’s single-game attendance record and averaged more than 30,000 fans per match.

The bottom line: Charlotte FC didn’t bring soccer here, but it provided the spark needed to let the sport shine in Charlotte.

  • Of note: Tickets for Charlotte FC’s 2023 opener go on sale Friday, Nov. 25. Upper bowl tickets will be $15 on Friday. The schedule will come out in December.

What’s next: More World Cup action. USA’s next two group stage matches are both at 2pm on FOX.

  • Nov. 25 vs. England
  • Nov. 29 vs. Iran

Bonus: Charlotte FC striker Karol Świderski made Poland’s World Cup roster. They play Mexico today at 11am. 

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