Group gets approval for showing World Cup matches in Dupont Circle

By Christy Goodman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 4, 2010

The two biggest hurdles -- permits and money -- have been cleared for Dupont Festival: Soccer in the Circle.

"They got it," said Mac Nwulu, an ESPN spokesman, referring to his company's blessing of a FIFA permit to show World Cup matches in Dupont Circle.

The Dupont Festival is collecting on pledges that total the $20,000 needed to show three matches on June 12, said organizer Aaron DeNu.

"I don't have the license in hand," said Michael Lipin, another organizer, who was also behind the Dupont snowball fight in February.

The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association, which is hosting smaller World Cup viewing parties, contributed $10,000. Joel Velasco, the Brazilian group's North American representative, said it thought the Dupont Festival "was well worth the investment for a very exciting party that only happens every four years."

The highlight of the June 12 games shown on big screens in the circle will be the United States vs. England. The matches are scheduled to end at 4:30 p.m. The National Park Service is processing a permit for Soccer in the Circle good from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., said Bill Line, a Park Service spokesman.

Two hours after the soccer, the Capital Pride Parade, celebrating the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, will kick off. The parade, which does not travel through the park, begins near 23rd and P streets and makes its way around the north side of the circle before moving on to New Hampshire Avenue and Thomas Circle. "I don't think there will be any overlap between their group and ours," said Dyana Mason, Capital Pride's executive director. "We welcome them to hang out. I think it will be a great day to be in the circle."

Both organizations are encouraging participants to use public transportation, as there will be limited parking.

DeNu also said increased support, such as a donation from D.C. United, could lead to VIP viewing areas or D.C. United players attending.

Smaller donations have come in from such businesses as Deals for Deeds, a daily deal Web site that supports community development and social giving. More than $1,500 has come in from individuals, and several hundred dollars has been raised from pub crawls, DeNu said.

"I think we'll have enough money to do another one," he said. "Our strategic goal from the beginning is to make sure we can execute the 12th."

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