We were lucky enough to be able to experience the World Cup Finals in a very unique setting yesterday, on the lawn over at Dolores Park. From what I understand, a local German dude known as the “Teacher With The Bus” was a bit frustrated that no one was throwing a big outdoor World Cup shindig in San Francisco, so he took matters into his own hands at the last minute and threw an all day party. Using his local celebrity he was able to get businesses to put up 1/2 of the $15,000 that it cost for permits, to rent the huge 9′ x 13′ screen & the crane to hold it, get the port-o-potties and have the SFPD on hand to secure it all. The other 1/2 of the costs came straight out of his own pocket. Talk about a guy who’s willing to go the extra mile to see that his local community is given the opportunity to experience this international event as it is in so many other countries in the world.
So!, Smokey and I knew that the park would no doubt be jam packed for this, so we went the smart route and headed over two hours before game time. We arrived just after 9AM, set up shop at what was currently the back of the crowd, about 150′ or so away from the screen. At that point there were about 200 people spread out on roughly 1/4 of the main lawn area. Over the next two hours, friends showed up and people trickled in, filling up the rest of the lawn. It was crowded, but comfortably so… and then the game started. It seemed like as soon as the screen came to life, the place really packed in and absolutely erupted with excitement. Estimates on the number of people in attendance range from 3,000 (that was me eyeballing the place after a friend said, “you think there are about 1,000 people here?”), to 10,000 which was more of the “official” count. 10,000 people gathered to watch the World Cup Finals!!! Talk about a blast: the sun was in full effect, the bloody marys & mimosas were flowing, locks & bagels were being eaten, Italian & French flags were flying and people were going ballistic.
In the end Italy beat France 5:3 in an overtime shootout, but you probably knew that already so I’ll stop here and say that the “Teacher With The Bus” kicks some serious ass and deserves some big ol’ shout outs (and PayPal donations) from the folks in SF.