WASHINGTON - In just two days, the 2023 Women’s World Cup starts and expectations are running high for Team USA to win it all.
It’s going to be a massive global event for fans but even more so here in D.C. Soccer fans have already packed the nation’s capital as the MLS All-Stars are set to play Arsenal on Wednesday.
Fans say while men’s soccer gets a lot of attention, they’re excited to watch the women’s team and hope they take the top spot again.
"If you’re a soccer fan, you’re a soccer fan," one D.C. resident said. "Doesn’t matter if it’s men’s or women’s and they have been very good this year. The Women’s U.S. team is very aggressive."
"I definitely think that people should pay more attention to women’s soccer. It’s kind of sad that men get so much more attention when the women's team is actually better," another fan said.
In 2022, the District’s official events office, "Events DC," held Men's World Cup events but surprisingly, a spokesperson for the office tells FOX 5 that they "haven't finalized any partnerships yet" for the Women’s Cup.
"I think in general, sadly, men’s sports tend to get more attention than women’s but I’m very hopeful that it will pick up this year and get a lot of attention," another fan told FOX 5.
But you shouldn’t have trouble finding a place to be part of the World Cup action.
Last month, D.C.’s Council passed a bill that lets bars and restaurants stay open 24 hours during the tournament and more than 50 have. And D.C.’s local soccer team, the Washington Spirit is hosting watch parties around the DMV.
"What we’re trying to do in Washington is build a community and we knew that we had to be the organization that drove the excitement around the world cup in D.C.," said Emma May, the president of Business Operations for the Washington Spirit. "They grow the game absolutely everywhere but they certainly grow the game in D.C. After the 2019 Women’s World Cup, the Washington Spirit saw two sold-out games."
BetMGM says they expect this will be the most bet world cup ever.
"There’s going to be a lot of action. Right now, we’re the overall betting favorite to win the World Cup. Right now, they are +225 which means for every $1 you wager on the women to win the World Cup, you’d win $2.25," said BetMGM manager Rob McEwen. "It’s going to be pretty exciting."
If you need even more of a reason to root for Team USA, remember that four members of the Washington Spirit are on the team, so those local ties are there.
And keep in mind that if you’re heading to any of those bars and restaurants open 24 hours, under D.C. law they have to take a time out and will stop serving alcohol between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.