Today the District of Columbia served the city of Washington with a fantastic view of the World Cup at Freedom Plaza. In a thrilling, heart stopping, World Cup Viewing Party that was approved by Mayor Vincent Gray and arranged in less than 48 hours Gray illustrated that his passion for sports and support of D.C. United is more than a promise.
The World Cup Viewing Party began promptly at 3 pm as Producer John Liipfert and his team from C3 Presents erected the gigantic 17x27 foot viewing screen for the thousands of people who gathered on Freedom Plaza to watch the World Cup match. Any small business that can deliver a service to the city with the efficiency and expediency that C3 Presents set up the World Cup Viewing Party deserves praise.
The broadcast of the event was flawless. Pulling the event together from Saturday to Monday was an amazing feat; however, the unity and spirit that was displayed by the thousands of supporters who attended the viewing party was well worth the effort of the team of professionals who brought the World Cup to the giant screen.
Liipfert heard about the desire to have the World Cup Viewing Party on Saturday night and his team came together with the other officials and city leaders to give the people who attended the opportunity to witness one of the most thrilling World Cup matches in the history of the District of Columbia.
The broadcast of the match had no glitches and was perfectly broadcast from the time the event began until the final heart breaking moments as victory slipped away from the USA by a point. Although Belgium won the match 2 to 1, for the fans who cheered with all their might, there was no shame in the loss.
The USA supporters stood in the blazing sun and summer heat for three hours to let America’s team know that they were behind them. The sight of thousands of people waving their flags, wearing their red, white, and blue costumes and paint proved that the efforts the city has made to bring a new D.C. United Stadium to the District of Columbia is both a service to the city and a source of bringing the city together.
The loss was hard to take; however, for Americans who played and followed soccer for 40 years or more the amazing evolution of American soccer from the fringes of the sports world to center stage in front of the District of Columbia City Hall was an arousing success. There is no doubt that American soccer is here to stay and a new stadium in the District of Columbia will ensure that the District’s team is in the city to stay as well.
The business side of soccer is to fill the stadium. Today Mayor Vincent Gray gave the city an example of how popular the sport is in the District of Columbia and to millions of people watching the World Cup around the world. Metro aided thousands of people to get to the Freedom Plaza quickly and efficiently. The Metropolitan Police carefully guided traffic around the event and the Park Police politely managed the crowd control in the event which took place without incident.
The citizens of Belgium are celebrating in Brussels tonight; but the USA has nothing to be ashamed of in their loss. They fought a good fight. Gray said, “Our team played their hearts out.” They may have lost the competition but they taught millions of American boys and girls how to play the game of never giving up until the last bell sounded. By sharing that display with the city, Mayor Gray and his team served his city well.