World Cup games

Brazil-Germany: Tuesday, 2 p.m.

Netherlands-Argentina: Wednesday, 2 p.m.

Third-place game: Saturday, 2 p.m.

Final game: Sunday, 1 p.m.

The World Cup is being played 5,000 miles away, but Boulder area bars, theaters and stores are riding an economic wave, even after Belgium eliminated the United States last week.

At Rocky Mountain Soccer, 1933 28th St., Paolo Saraiva said the store has to keep a good selection of national team jerseys in stock, even for teams that have been eliminated, or customers complain.

The Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., occasionally shows the Super Bowl and other major sporting events on its large screen, but it didn't show any World Cup games four years ago.

"At first we weren't sure there would be interest because we are not a sports bar," said General Manager Cheryl Liguori. "But we have some big soccer fans on our staff and we had some dates open. So it seemed like a natural fit."

Liguori said she wasn't sure what to expect -- maybe 75 or maybe 200 people for the U.S.-Ghana game. Instead, 800 people filled the theater for the free broadcast, and staff had to turn people away at the door.

"That took us by surprise, and we were very excited," she said.


The Boulder Theater also showed the U.S.-Germany game, while the Fox Theatre, under the same ownership, showed the game against Belgium.

The Boulder Theater will also show the final game Sunday between the winners of the Brazil-Germany game today and the Argentina-Netherlands game Wednesday.

Christian Saber, who opened Rincon Argentino in 2012, was already planning an expansion into a neighboring space. Without the extra space, World Cup fans have been lined up out the door.

"Of course when Argentina plays, the place just explodes," he said. "We are doing a great business."

The customers are Argentine expatriates, but also new American patrons who heard about the restaurant and are drawn to try it out during the World Cup.

"Because our team is doing so well, what better place to see the match?" Saber said. "They can watch it in an Argentine environment."

Saber said business is up 20 percent overall this month and is roughly double on game days.

Saber said he will show all four of the remaining games.

At Harpo's Sports Grill, 2860 Arapahoe Ave., a manager said U.S. games have drawn larger crowds than the Super Bowl. In Longmont, The Dickens Opera House, 300 Main St., saw business up about 10 percent in the Tavern downstairs when the U.S. played, owner Lynn Owens said. The U.S.-Belgium game, which was shown on the large screen upstairs, drew a large crowd, though not quite as large as for this year's Super Bowl.

The World Cup has also been good to Conor O'Neill's. The Irish pub at 1922 13th St. set out to make itself the hub of European sports in Boulder, and it was packed four years ago. But the crowds are even larger this year, said manager Wendy Ingram.

On June 22, in cooperation with FC Boulder soccer club, Conor O'Neill's closed off 13th Street for World Cup viewing, and roughly 2,500 people filled the block.

"We didn't think it was going to be as big as it was," Ingram said. "We thought we would fill the closure, but there were people all the way to Pearl Street to watch the big screen."

Ingram attributes the enthusiasm to a number of factors: Boulder's large international community attracted by the university and the tech industry, growing popularity of Major League Soccer and the more favorable game times compared to previous World Cups in distant time zones.

She also thinks Americans are tuning into the appeal of a game played without commercial breaks.

"You could hear a pin drop in here when Costa Rica and Netherlands went into penalty kicks," she said of the crowd's intense interest in the games.

Conor O'Neill's won't do another street closure for this World Cup. Managers wanted to make sure the first one went well before asking the city for another street closure and didn't apply for the necessary extension of its liquor license to serve outside.

But of course all four remaining games will be on television at the pub.

Ingram said she takes the spread of World Cup viewing venues in stride.

"Everybody else jumps on the bandwagon," she said. "And that's fine. We can't hold everyone. But if you want to watch League of Champions games in February, we'll be here."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Erica Meltzer at 303-473-1355 or