So – to back up for a moment. Brazil was one of the favorites to win the event this year. Brazil is a country that goes nuts for futebol and they were granted the right to have big time beach parties at an official FIFA Fan Fest arena. This event center was constructed on Copacabana Beach over a 4-6 week period and in the end an arena was constructed with a 50 meter TV screen, food and beer stalls, a store, luxury boxes, and space for 20,000 guests. Every game was covered at the site and – no surprise – the games that Brazil played were over-subscribed. So….. another very big screen TV screen was added to increase capacity on the beach to 100,000. As I said, futebol is very big. Sadly, Brazil was knocked out after the equivalent (using NCAA terms) of the Elite Eight in a game with Netherlands. So now that you know the result, let me share some thoughts and photos about life in Rio during the big event. First the photos…
FIFA Fan Fest - FIFA Fan Fest - The setting on Copacabana Beach is pretty spectacular (see http://www.fifafanfestrio.com/site/index.php?option=com_morfeoshow&task=view&gallery=3 )
And the event area during a Brazil game - packed to the limit:
I visited the Fan Fest with friends Daniela and Joey for an American game in the rain – pretty empty and cold but the food and the company were good.
By the end of the World Cup finals the big Bola was totally covered with signatures and graffiti – I have no idea how people reached the top of the ball; maybe the organizers were regularly repositioning it.
For later games the sun game out and more folks arrived – sadly the US didn’t make it out of the equivalent of the “Sweet Sixteen”. But the event space was great and the company was as well.
For the final US game we ran into good friends from the Consulate and enjoyed beer, sand and sun even while our team lost. Ah well, better luck in 2014 when Brazil will host the World Cup.
And just some random shots of the luxury boxes (less sandy but no better seating), beer hall and interior of the complex.