Soccer Fandom from the Front Lines: Trends Noted by Pubs Nationwide Where the Real Fans Watch the Game

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Steeped in European soccer tradition and 18 years of experience, Fadó Irish Pub offers insight on the evolution of soccer fans across the United States leading up to the excitement surrounding World Cup, soccer's premiere event. Soccer is the world’s most popular sport and this year, Americans sports fans are going to join the world’s largest sports audience in record numbers June 12 - July 13.

World Cup, soccer’s premiere event, happens every four years and is watched by more people than the Olympics and the Super Bowl combined. Soccer is the world’s most popular sport and this year, Americans sports fans are going to join the world’s largest sports audience in record numbers June 12 - July 13. There is, however, a distinction among soccer fans this World Cup over previous tournaments. Real fans watch the biggest soccer tournament in the world in a social atmosphere befitting the beautiful game. And, American soccer bars—once a small niche—will be ready to serve them in a big way.

Started by three Irish/Irish-Americans back in Atlanta in 1996, Fadó Irish Pub has watched its patrons' love for the game grow year after year. As one of the original exclusive venues in the city that carried the English Premier League (EPL) TV packages, Fadó from its inception has been brimming with passionate expat soccer fans. Rather than watch at home, these patrons choose the traditional, social environment of the pub to cheer on their team. Since weekend kick-off times in the EPL are as early as 12:45 p.m. GMT, sleepy-eyed soccer fans in the States have always had to wake up early in the morning to catch a live game at Fadó-despite the appearance of hitting a pub first thing in the morning.

Here’s a round-up of a few of these notable locations in key soccer markets across the country:

Atlanta - Leading a New American Revolution:
Since 1998, London native and Arsenal supporter, Russell Belcher has served behind the bar at Fadó and is as much of a part of the game day experience at the pub for fans as the game itself. Russell knows everyone that walks in the door, or he’ll make sure he does before you leave. Whether he’s connecting an out-of-town Spurs fan to the group on the other side of the bar, or serving up some off-colored commentary to the ever-present Manchester United fans, Russell offers a unique sort of hospitality that is so much more valuable to soccer fans than just a cold pint of Guinness. And, as the stories unfold, customers understand that they might have to wait for their tea. But, no one complains, because, in the end, it’s this entire experience that real fans want on game day. Atmosphere matters.

Seattle - Redefining “Sleepless” For Love of The Game:
Timing for World Class Soccer is never convenient for Seattle residents as kick-off times are scheduled as early as 4:30am PST. The downtown Seattle pub, which opened its doors in 2000, has won numerous national “Best of” accolades as a top soccer bar, including in World Cup 2010. More notably though, Fadó on 1st Avenue is the home of “Gorilla FC ”, the official supporter’s club of the Seattle Sounders FC. Pre-game rituals start hours before kick-off and always conclude with a massive fan march to CenturyLink stadium. The Sounders fans have a reputation for being some of the most passionate in the MLS, last year setting a new league record for a fifth consecutive season with an average attendance of 44,038. Game day at Fadó in Seattle is big and fans are known across the country as being as committed as any across the world.

Miami - The Unofficial Capital Of South America is the Center of Soccer Love:
Among the twelve Fadó pubs across the country, the Mary Brickell Village location—which opened in 2010—is the newest location. Enthusiasm of soccer fans in this pub though is not to be questioned. Home of the Terminus South, Fadó in Mary Brickell is always packed with passionate as well as casual fans for U.S. matches, La Liga matches and English Premier league matches week after week. And, at the core of it all are the supporters for the new MLS team. Club or country is often a debate among soccer fans, but never “pub vs couch”. Atmosphere is everything.

Chicago - Hockey Fans make the big leap to English Premier League
The inaugural season of “EPL on NBC” has been a huge win for NBC and sports fans alike. One local and very special story involves four friends and hockey fans. Back in June 2013, during the NHL playoffs, the “EPL on NBC” promotion was in full swing. These self-described “typical American sports fans” took the advertising bait offered in the advertising campaign and randomly selected Everton FC as “their team,” not quite knowing what to expect. Fast forward to May 11, 2014, and these four friends are anticipating an epic party at the pub to end the season. Their transformative story to add a major sport illustrates the impact of how watching soccer in a pub has extended their fellowship beyond the hockey season and that Americans, with the help of local soccer bars, are embracing soccer in a real way.

Fadó offers fans the best soccer experience because its history is steeped in tradition and experience, built from a customer base of international travelers and expats. One benefit of serving as the locale where the most dedicated watch is that the pubs have had a front row seat to the evolution of the soccer fan (new and old) in the United States over the past 18 years. Serving more Guinness than any other bar in North America, Fadó offers live European soccer year-round and is also an official US Soccer bar.

Photos and Interview Opportunities are available upon request:

·         Kieran McGill, President and CEO of Fadó Pubs Inc can talk about the crucial decision to show European soccer when the doors opened back in 1996 and its relevance today.

·         Staff, Customers, Americans and expats alike, can share their story, their team and why they are excited about what watching the World Cup in a soccer bar means to them.

Key dates:

·         May 11 - Final Day of EPL

·         May 17 - FA Cup Final Arsenal v Hull City

·         May 24 - UEFA Champions League Final

·         May 27, June 1 & June 7 - US Men’s National Team “send off” matches. Live at Fado Irish Pub

·         June 12 - July 13 - World Cup 2014

Pub Video:

USA scores in the 91st minute 2010 World Cup:

El Clasico: Barca v Real Madrid Video from March 24, 2014:

EUROs 2012 Final Promotional Video:

About Fadό Irish Pub:
Fadó (pronounced f’doe) Irish Pub is distinguished by its genuine Irish hospitality, quality and “craic” (Gaelic for "good times"). Fadó was formed by three Irish and Irish-American entrepreneurs and opened in Atlanta in January 1996. Fadó is well known for it's imported Dublin decor, state-of-the-art draught beer system and European sports experience, including soccer. A U.S. Soccer bar, Fadó Irish Pub has enjoyed "best soccer bar" accolades year after year across multiple markets. The name, Fadó, is an Irish term that means “long, long ago” and chosen because Fadó Irish Pub tells the story of Ireland’s rich and evolving Pub culture, which now includes craft beer, house cocktails and from-scratch cooking. Currently, Fadó Irish Pub and, sister concept, Tigin Irish Pub are located in 14 different cities around the country including Atlanta, Annapolis, Austin, Chicago, Columbus, Washington D.C., Dallas, Denver, Philadelphia, New York, Miami, Stamford, St Louis, and Seattle. Follow on Instagram and Twitter at @Fadóirishpub and @Tiginirishpub. and

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Ellen Peacock

Ellen Peacock
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