To say ticket distribution for Tuesday’s U.S.-Mexico World Cup qualifier was contentious doesn’t sufficiently convey the hostility involved in divvying up precious Crew Stadium real estate. This was a hot ticket, with soccer supporters from around the continent vying for one of 24,000-some seats. In online forums and in real life, the fight for the right to purchase was fierce.
So of course, lots of hardcore soccer fans will be stuck on the outside Tuesday. Fear not, exiles! Although your experience will inevitably and tragically be inferior to those inside the stadium, you can still have a blast celebrating the most important Columbus sporting event of the year. Here’s a guide to the parties going on.
Fado Irish Pub, 4022 Townsfair Way, Easton
U.S. Soccer is setting up shop at Easton Town Center from Friday to Sunday, with activities including a watch party for the U.S.-Costa Rica game at 10 p.m. Friday, trivia contests, giveaways, a symposium for coaches of the soccer spinoff known as futsal, a live taping of Frankie Hejduk’s podcast and more.
Every night from Friday through Monday, Fado, the city’s longest-standing oasis for international soccer supporters, will host parties geared toward soccer fans. Then, Tuesday night, they’ll have an expanded patio setup with extra TVs and drink specials. Seems like you could hang out at Easton for five straight days and feel like you’re in the middle of the action.
4th St. Bar & Grill, 1810 N. 4th St., Campus
Just a few blocks from Crew Stadium, 4th St. Bar & Grill has become an essential outpost for Columbus soccer fans. It’s the home of Crew Union’s away watch parties and a pre- and postgame hub on home matchdays. So of course they’re going all-out for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier.
Monday, 4th St. will host the American Outlaws supporters club’s official Night Before Party with live music from 7 p.m.-2 a.m featuring live music. On match day, the Outlaws will host a pregame tailgate from 2-6 p.m. Although those with tickets are marching to Crew Stadium at 6:30 p.m., the party will rage on for those who want to watch at the bar.
Hendoc’s Pub, 2375 N. High St., Campus
Crew supporters club Hudson Street Hooligans are throwing a watch party at their latest haunt, Hendoc’s, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. There’ll be live music from Soundtrack 96, The Devil’s Lettuce and Swagg, beer and food trucks including Late Night Slice and Smokeout BBQ on the patio, cornhole, beer pong, a live podcast and a midnight drawing for signed memorabilia and Crew tickets with Frankie Hejduk.