Soccer Fans Pack Grant Park For USA-Portugal Game
(CBS) — Thousands of soccer fans headed to Grant Park to cheer on Team USA against Portugal in their second game of the World Cup.
The U.S. earned a 2-2 draw after Porugal scored a late goal to tie the game.
Hours before the gates opened at the Grant Park viewing site, fans were eagerly awaited the showdown, but the viewing party itself can’t catch a break.
Fans jammed the first Grant Park site for the Ghana game, so Sunday’s party was supposed to be in much more spacious Hutchinson Field. But Saturday night’s storms left it a muddy mess.
Instead, the viewing site was moved to Balbo Drive between Lake Shore Drive and Columbus Drive, which has a smaller capacity. U.S. Soccer tweeted that the location was at capacity and fans were being turned away.
Chicago Police estimate between 12-15,000 people showed up.
A couple thousand of them were turned away 30 minutes before game time because the space was over capacity, according to police. WBBM’s Nancy Harty reports that didn’t sit well with some fans who stood along the fence and chanted “let us in” along with “USA USA”.
Earlier at Grant Park Sunday, young players at a four-on-four tourney savored the excitement.
“This World Cup is changing a lot of soccer fans. It has been so many goals, very interesting games, very little ties,” said Jake Loncar.
And soccer-mad fans are enjoying increased respect.
“Soccer’s becoming a legitimate sport in the U.S., not somewhat of a joke,” said Eyuel Limneh.