Grant Park Primed for Another World Cup Viewing Party - NBC Chicago

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Grant Park Primed for Another World Cup Viewing Party

Thousands expected to pack Grant Park for U.S.A. versus Germany match



    Preparations Underway For World Cup Watch Party

    The United States plays its third game in the World Cup Thursday morning, taking the pitch against Germany. U.S. Soccer's huge viewing party is expected to attract more than the 20,000 fans who came out for the Portugal game. NBC5’s Susan Carlson reports. (Published Wednesday, June 25, 2014)

    The thousands of fans expected to pack Grant Park for Thursday's World Cup viewing match are expected to be rowdy, but they may also be a little more sober.

    Metra announced Wednesday that alcohol will be banned from all trains on Thursday in anticipation of the large number of people expected to head toward the park for the 11 a.m. game featuring the U.S. versus Germany.

    Metra is also advising passengers that late morning and some evening rush hour trains will likely be full, and that minor delays are likely. Police presence will also be increased on the trains.

    An estimated 20,000 soccer fans watched the U.S. team take on Portugal at Sunday's viewing party, and even more could pack the park on Thursday because the outcome could determine whether the Americans advance.

    "It matters, so we might get a bigger crowd for sure. We've seen a build up as things have gone on," said Mike Gressle of the U.S. Soccer Federation.

    Thursday's match will be shown at the Petrillo Music Shell at Butler Field, located near Columbus Drive and Jackson Street in Grant Park. An additional screen will be added for better viewing angles.

    Sunday's viewing location was switched at the last minute because of soggy conditions on the field, but officials don't anticipate having that problem this time around.

    "The field at Butler is bigger than the other two venues we've had. It's hosted Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago and the the Bulls championship rallies," Gressle said.

    Food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed into the event as neither will be available for sale in the park. Lawn chairs are allowed inside the park but hard coolers are banned.

    The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a Pre-Game Kick-off party and continues after the game with a U.S. Soccer Fan Fest.