Some of the biggest world cup parties certainly took place in Russia. But the enthusiasm was also felt in downtown Austin.
Tony Rivas and Adrian Little were among those to meet up at the Russian house bistro. Little played a little hooky to see the Match. "I had to push back my “In Time,” I'll find my reasons and excuses to come in here,” said Little.
It wasn't a big watch party. But the Russian theme inside provided a unique escape from the Texas heat outside. "I'm a huge soccer fan, I play it non Zilker whenever I can, this is one of the biggest events that happens, its once every 4 years, so there was no way I can miss this,” said Rivas.
In East Austin at the Haymaker, soccer fans watched the opening match on multiple TV screens that wrapped around the bar. It was a large group for the lunch hour -- despite Team USA not being in the competition.
"It’s unfortunate, it does matter, we obviously want USA in it, but we are looking forward to a great World Cup. I think it’s going to be a really good crowd, for us,” said Paul Manfre
At Native Hostel they've set up a big room to watch the match, and also a miniature pitch.
Throughout the month, they'll even have a few matches of their own.
Fans are encouraged to bring their laptops and work remotely. That’s because here in Austin a lot of the games will be played during business hours.
The goal for managers is to tap into a sport with a growing base of fans.
"I think it’s something at least from a soccer fan there are so many nations that are good, the competition is fierce, and I think this will be one of those Cups we can get excited about other teams, other nations, other players, then as a USA fan first, we can kind of get rallied up for the next time, and they’ll bring their best, and be in it for sure,” said Events manager for Native Hostels Chris Scull.
The managers at Takoba are also looking ahead but right now only as far as this weekend.
Mexico plays Sunday and the number of fans packed into this room is expected to be much larger than those here Thursday. "Come World Cup I don’t know how you can prepare for it ... we try to stock up on everything we possibly can, but its going to be a mad house for sure,” said Bartender John Salazar.
That’s an indication of just how crazy the next few weeks may be was the score of the first match; a shutout by the home team, Team Russia.