Where to Watch the 2010 World Cup
¡Ponganse la verde! That’s the rallying cry for everyone to wear green in support of the national soccer team, also known as “El Tri,” for the three colors in the Mexican flag. To say that fútbol is huge in Puebla would be an understatement. When Mexico takes on South Africa in the opening game of the World Cup tomorrow at 9 a.m. CDT, there’s unlikely to be a TV in town that isn’t tuned into the match.
“It’s impossible to separate ourselves from the phenomenon of soccer,” Darío Carmona García, the secretary of public education, said this week, apparently hoping to keep students and teachers on campus. “In schools where conditions permit, everyone may follow the games, but it’s not permitted to suspend classes.”
That’s a tall order. Schools outside its jurisdiction, such as Humboldt College and the UDLA, reportedly plan to show the inaugural game on giant displays on campus. Meanwhile, expect business to grind to a halt for 90 minutes on Friday morning: Volkswagen, which employs nearly 15,000 people in Puebla, will allow its union workers four hours off to watch the World Cup games involving Mexico. Another large manufacturing plant in town will shut down temporarily and invite its 450 employees to watch Mexico vs. South Africa in the company’s conference rooms.
It’s doubtful they’ll be the only ones not working. Every time El Tri plays, the city, in cooperation with TV Azteca Puebla, will set up screens and chairs in the zócalo. Anyone who’s downtown can watch the action for free.
The June 11 broadcast from Puebla’s main square begins at 8 a.m., and the station promises “a party atmosphere.”
Other spots around town that could make for good public World Cup-watching:
Bull McCabe. An Irish-style pub that serves a mean bagel, which should be perceived as a bonus for anyone who drags themselves out of bed and across town to watch early morning games. Avenida Juárez 2902, Colonia La Paz
Scudetto. This large sports bar overlooking Boulevard Atlixco always seems to be bursting with people — and its name is Italian for “soccer champion.” And since Mexico beat Italy in the friendly leading up to the World Cup, well, you have nothing to fear. Blvd. Atlixco 37, Plaza JV San Jose
La Martina. The most casual choice, this Cholula restaurant will serve you a proper Mexican breakfast in front of its newly installed flat-screen TVs. Bonus: Freshly baked goods and European-style treats are available from Flavr next-door. Container City, 12 Oriente and 2 Norte, San Andrés Cholula
Photograph courtesy of The Vandhaal/Creative Commons.