Update! … Rallying San Diego for World Cup Victory

Vince Vasquez Vince Vasquez 3 Comments

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Update, June 21…

MAYOR KEVIN L. FAULCONER CITY OF SAN DIEGO

NEWS RELEASE

Petco Park’s Park at the Park to Show 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup USA vs. Colombia Match

Mayor and Padres Announce Public Viewing Will Be Free of Charge

San Diego, CA – The San Diego Padres and Mayor Kevin Faulconer today announced that Petco Park’s Park at the Park will host a public viewing area for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup match between the United States and Colombia taking place Monday, June 22 at 5:00 p.m. PT.

The Park at the Park will be open to the public throughout the day on Monday, and will remain open through the conclusion of the match. Discounted parking will be made available in the Tailgate Lot.

Last season, the Padres added a new LED video display that was designed, manufactured and installed by Daktronics Inc. The video display is located directly behind the batter’s eye at Petco Park in the Park at the Park area. The display measures approximately 17 feet high by 29 feet wide, providing crisp, clear imagery.

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Original post by Vince Vasquez, June 16…

For the second time in a year, Team USA is advancing to the World Cup playoffs. Will San Diegans come together again and cheer on our national team to victory?

Whether or not you’re a fan, soccer is popular across the globe, including right here in San Diego. We’ve consistently been one of the top markets for World Cup viewing – Nielsen Ratings pegged SD as the #1 TV market for the 2006 FIFA Men’s World Cup tournament, and #2 for the World Cup Finals in 2010 and 2014. That enthusiasm has also been extended to Women’s Soccer as well; San Diego was the #2 market for the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final, and more recently ranked #5 for last week’s US opener against Australia. Nationally, US viewership for the Women’s World Cup opening match tripled compared to 2011.

Most major US cities have embraced soccer mania, and hosted large scale watch parties for the World Cup tournaments. Free and open to the public, these events are organized at civic plazas, parks, and streets – anywhere thousands of people can easily congregate and watch a match on a big screen.

Last year, huge crowds attended watch parties to cheer on Team USA through the tournament – and San Diego joined them.

In 2014, I led the grassroots effort to ask the Padres organization to open PETCO’s Park at the Park for free public screenings of Men’s World Cup soccer. The park is generally open to the public when the team is out of town, and features a 29 foot wide video board that in the past has been used to transmit Padres away games for local fans. Ultimately, the team controls whether the video board can be used or not. Due to assistance we received from the Office of the Mayor of San Diego, the Padres agreed to turn the TV on and generously made the park available for World Cup fans on two separate match days (one was ultimately cancelled due to Tony Gwynn’s death). And San Diegans rallied to the occasion: approximately 5,000 fans attended last year’s Park at the Park screening of the US vs Belgium World Cup playoff match. Kudos to the American Outlaws San Diego Chapter, the San Diego Dragoons, and other fan clubs that helped promote the event and made it a spectacular success (despite the tough loss to Belgium).

As we now approach the playoff round of the FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer tournament, I have requested that the Park at the Park once again be open for San Diegans to cheer on Team USA in the world’s game.

Tonight, the US Women’s National Team won their final group match against Nigeria, and qualified for a playoff match scheduled for Monday, June 22nd at 5PM PST. The San Diego Padres are not scheduled for a game at PETCO Park on June 22nd, nor are there any publicly announced events at the Park occurring on that date. The timing is perfect for a local watch party; already, they’ve been held at parks in other cities, including DC’s Dupont Circle and San Francisco’s Civic Center. It is my understanding that the Padres are interested in hosting a watch party again, but have not yet made a decision.

Let’s encourage the Padres to host a watch party, and bring all of us together as one community. Park at the Park is one of the few public parks where screening events can be held in San Diego County; an exhaustive investigation by this author found that other county locations are either prohibitively expensive, require permits, or equipment rental. Public spaces are an important part of civic life, and participatory democracy – they’re the place of rallies, demonstrations, protests, and memorials.This opportunity is important for myself and many others who want to cheer on Team USA in a free, safe, family-friendly environment.

Call to Action: Please tweet the Padres at @Padres and ask them to host a #USWNT World Cup watch party 6/22!

Women’s soccer is finally coming of age, and more mainstream for American audiences, who show growing interest in soccer action and competitive play on the international stage. I’m proud to support our ladies at the World Cup, and eager to cheer them on alongside thousands of my fellow patriots. Come On You Yanks!

PS: watch this 30 second commercial for US Women’s World Cup soccer – if this doesn’t get you pumped, I don’t know what will.

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