SAN FRANCISCO – As the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off with the host nation Russia, facing off against Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow today, once again, San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza will be cheering with soccer fans for three days this July. The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (SF Rec & Parks) announced today that the Department will host free public viewing parties of the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the Semi-Final matches on Tuesday, July 10 and Wednesday, July 11 beginning both days at 11AM along with the Final on Sunday, July 15, beginning at 8AM at Civic Center Plaza. These free World Cup viewing events are presented in partnership with the San Francisco Parks Alliance.
“Events such as these embrace who we are as a city and celebrate the diversity of San Franciscans,” said Mayor Mark Farrell. “Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and has the immeasurable power to bring people together globally, nationally and civically. We look forward to seeing who comes out on top this year.”
Civic Center screenings are designed to bring San Francisco together, activating historic Civic Center Plaza in the heart of the City to celebrate the world’s game and inspire people to engage in sports and healthy activities. Past showings of the Olympics, FIFA Men’s and Women’s World Cup Soccer, Warriors basketball and Giants baseball in Civic Center Plaza have attracted thousands of fans all cheering together with a wonderful sense of community. The free screenings attract diverse crowds from across the City’s neighborhoods, the Bay Area, and beyond.
In addition to the screenings, there will be soccer activities for kids, the mobile rock climbing wall, and food trucks. Civic Center Commons Initiative will also be offering lawn games like giant Jenga and cornhole for guests to enjoy.
“What a perfect venue to tune in with the rest of the world and celebrate a game that connects us all,” said, Drew Becher, SF Parks Alliance CEO. “We’re thrilled to activate the heart of the city for the World Cup!”
SF Rec and Parks hosts over 1,000 youth soccer teams, as well as runs over 90 soccer camps and classes for youth throughout the year, with well over 15,000 kids participating in both combined. No one is turned away from these programs due to lack of ability to pay. The Department gives over $1 million in scholarships each year for kids to participate in recreational activities such as these camps and classes.
“By providing free screenings of the FIFA World Cup, we are both inspiring and providing the opportunity for youth and adults alike to get out and play,” said, Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Parks’ General Manager. “We will have America SCORES Bay Area running soccer camps here during the week, where kids can watch the world’s top athletes such as Lionel Messi and immediately take what they learned and apply it in their own camp.”
These free public showings are made possible thanks to Mayor Mark Farrell, who secured funding to support the event through his former role as District 2 Supervisor and the generous support of sponsors including KTVU FOX 2, Boston Properties, San Francisco Youth Soccer, Yours in Soccer Foundation, 150 Van Ness, Civic Center Commons Initiative, Recology, Shorenstein, Sports Basement and America SCORES Bay Area.
For more information about the events, visit: www.worldcupsf.com