Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

“I will be dragging my ass out of bed to be opening for every 4 AM game. World Cup is a time when people come out and adopt countries to cheer for, cheer with compatriots, and generally come together to watch the biggest stage of soccer. And it’s going to be exciting to be part of every single second.”

Wes Burdine — owner and bartender at Black Hart of St. Paul

Here at Sota Soccer we are excited for the Men’s World Cup. Despite the controversies surrounding Qatar hosting and FIDE corruption, the magic of the Men’s World Cup can pull any soccer fan into watching at least one match — even if one’s first-choice national team didn’t make it.

While I am happy FOX (Twin Cities ch. 9-1) and Telemundo (Twin Cities ch. 25-1) will provide great coverage for Over-the-Air (OTA) Digital Antenna viewers like me [and FS1 on cable/satellite/fubotv], there is nothing like watching with old friends or making new friends at soccer-friendly venue during the Men’s World Cup.

This list will not be exhaustive but will provide a variety of locations to watch the Men’s World Cup — and some details that you will only get from Sota Soccer.

Utepils Brewing

225 Thomas Ave N #700
Minneapolis, MN 55405

with permission of Minneapolis City SC

Open: For USA games

  • Minneapolis City SC watch parties
  • $5 beers during watch parties
  • free Blaze Pizza for the first 50 fans
  • exclusive Mpls City merch

For Non-USA games?

  • Weekday games starting at 1pm or later
  • Weekend games starting 10am or later
  • Utepils Taproom schedule details

Give Local

According to Minneapolis City SC General Manager Matt Van Benschoten & Director of Operations Sarah Schreier, “We’ve always been more than just a soccer club and always looking for ways to use our platform for good.  This year, at our Watch Parties at Utepils, we’ll be doing 3 different donation drives for local charities (to remain hyper-local):

11/21 – We are collecting non-perishable food items for Northpoint (Utepils existing food shelf partner).

11/25 – Bring in your new or gently used winter coats and gear for Joseph’s Coat.

11/29 – Bring in your new or gently used women’s dress wear for Dress for Success, Twin Cities

“Always a good idea to visit these organizations’ website for any restrictions.  We hope to collect a giant amount of stuff to give back to our community.”

Ninth Street Soccer and Coffee

801 SE 9th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
[Note: 9th Street Soccer and Coffee is a sponsor of Sota Soccer]

photo by Matthew Johnson

“Ninth Street is a soccer facility in Northeast Minneapolis where our goal is to bring soccer to the people. How we do that is we have pickup almost every night of the week. We’re starting to add morning and daytime pickup as well. . . . [W]e’re a facility for anyone who is just learning about soccer, played at one point in their life, or has played pro before.  Everyone who wants to know about the sport can come to our space, jump in, and get to play pickup.” — Luke Schilmoeller, Manager at 9th Street Soccer and Coffee

Open: All of the games except the 4 AM games – schedule
BONUS: Indoor Futsal Pickups – schedule

  • American Outlaws MSP chapter “west location”
  • Full coffee bar
  • Seasonal specials: Brown Sugar Pistachio Latte and Autumn Spice Latte
  • Local Beer: Utepils Helles, La Doña La Reyna IPA, Castle Danger Cream Ale
  • $2 off Heggies Pizzas (Breakfast, Pepperoni, Cheese) with a National Team jersey
  • Pastries from Solomon’s Bakery (Arden Hills, MN)
  • Food Trucks – check twitter
  • Kickaround pickups either before or after US games with AO MSP

“It’s been amazing to combine community and soccer, where it brings people together and brings the nations together. So it’s like, ‘How do we provide a space for everyone to have a community space alongside soccer?’ We already know soccer brings people together too. So having watch parties, it’s the best time.”

Katie M. – Kids Open Play family programmer at 9th Street Soccer and Coffee

Black Hart of St. Paul

1415 University Ave W
St. Paul, MN 55104

photo by Jamie Campbell

“Black Hart is a queer soccer bar, but I think I would just describe it as a neighborhood bar. We have screens up throughout the bar for watching soccer, including a couple of huge projectors for the game.” – Wes Burdine, owner and bartender at Black Hart of St. Paul

Open: ALL the Games, even open at 4 AM . . .

. . . thanks to MN House Bill HF 2758 authored by Jamie Becker-Finn and Fue Lee.

  • American Outlaws MSP chapter “east location”
  • World Cup Passports for $15
  • Passport special: $4 Summits, Captain Morgan, Windsor
  • Passport special: $1 off Ketel One, Tanqueray, Don Julio
  • Each match gets a stamp in your passport, 2x stamps for 4 AM games. At the end of the tournament, each stamp gets an entry for prizes.

La Doña Cerveceria

241 Fremont Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55404

photo by Matthew Johnson

“La Doña is a dynamic taproom, with tons of events and music going on every week. We have a 3v3 soccer field, (currently under construction) and use the international language of soccer as a way to bring folks together in our taproom. We also bring community together through beer, food, music, art, sports, and many other aspects of culture both Latino and not.” – Sergio Manancero, President of La Doña Cerveceria

Open: not the 4 AM games, but most other games including every knockout round game

  • 14 beers on tap + Beer Cocktails
  • NA beverages; Kombucha, Lagunitas Hop\ Water, Soda
  • Food from in-house Tiendita Restaurant
  • “We will have the games on our projector screen, and the sound will be on!” – Sergio Manancero
  • View La Doña’s Group Stage schedule

Brit’s Pub

1110 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403

with permission of Brit’s Pub

Open: No 4 AM games, only two 7 AM games: ENG v IRN, and GER v JPN — Open for all other games

“If soccer is your religion, we are the Twin Cities Cathedral for it”

Shane Higgins, manager of Brit’s Pub

MJ: Will Adrian Heath show up for the England games again?

SH: Possibly but not sure if he goes elsewhere during the [Minnesota United off-season].

MJ [thinking to himself]: wait, Heath was in MN for the 2018 Men’s World Cup. Why is this different? — oh, duh. [palm slaps face]

The Dubliner Pub

2162 University Ave W
St. Paul, MN 55114

with permission from The Dubliner Pub

Open: Only USA games, possibly open for non-USA knockout games

$4 Summits for the three USA games from 12pm to 4pm

Where ever you go, have fun, be safe, and ask a stranger, “How’d you get into soccer?” I hope to release Part II [now here] with some venues already in queue. Who did I miss?

By Matthew Johnson

Matthew "MJ" Johnson is a freelance writer based in Minneapolis. In 2007, he discovered UEFA Champions League. His complex spreadsheets went from college football bowl season to European club soccer, and his fandom soon followed. In 2011, a friend Wes made the mistake of inviting him to an NSC Minnesota Stars game, where he fell in love with local soccer. Matthew co-hosts The Daves I Know podcast and occasionally guest hosts the MN Fútbol Show. When not playing broomball or watching soccer, he repairs bicycles and sharpens knives for money but fuses cuisines for fun. Follow Matthew on Twitter @mjmattsui

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