Fans in Wausau catch World Cup fever - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Fans in Wausau catch World Cup fever


Many soccer fans in Wausau cheered on the red, white and blue for USA's first FIFA World Cup game.

With Monday's win, fans say they hope excitement for the sport grows in Wisconsin.

Once every four years, a sport often out of the spotlight takes center stage with the FIFA World Cup.

"We're definitely seeing a crowd we normally wouldn't get," said Kali Kilishek, a Buffalo Wild Wings manager. "You don't normally see a lot of soccer crowds coming in your regular gameday."

Dozens of people at Buffalo Wild Wings in Wausau came to support USA.

"Tried to get as much red white and blue as I could," said Barry Eggert of Wausau.

"It's an awesome experience," said Tony Hollander of Wausau.

Some say even though they may not watch soccer, that the energy is contagious.

"I like being patriotic and cheering for our country whenever I can," said Jeffrey Siegal of Wausau.

Wausau city officials say they hope the excitement of the World Cup will come to the city. Workers are prepping the new soccer complex that is replacing the former Holtz-Krause Landfill.

"With the Winter Olympics and curling that generated a lot of excitement for the curling facility, whereas for the World Cup and soccer this summer will generate excitement for the soccer complex," said Kevin Fabel, City of Wausau Environmental Engineer.

City officials say by next spring, the fields will be ready for soccer games under the lights.

"The premiere nature of the field will not only bring soccer players from this area, but also draw tournaments from the greater area as well," said Fabel.

With USA's win against Ghana Monday night, fans also say they hope to see a spike in soccer interest in central Wisconsin.

"It draws more attention to the sport and more kids want to get out and do it," said Hollander.

USA will play Portugal next on Sunday.

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