Thousands of people gathered in Dupont Circle to watch Thursday’s World Cup game between the United States and Germany, and the excitement of the Americans’ advancing to the elimination round has many wondering if something similar will happen for Tuesday’s elimination game between the U.S. and Belgium. The short answer: not unless someone comes up with $30,000 this weekend.
It turns out that showing a live broadcast of a sporting event in a large public space is not a simple — or inexpensive — process.
To hold an official viewing party in a public space sanctioned by FIFA and ESPN, one has to submit an application and a fee of $1,000 to FIFA. Aaron DeNu did that last year, giving his non-profit organization Dupont Festival permission to broadcast the entire World Cup in Dupont Circle. That secured, DeNu announced his plans publicly on Twitter.
Eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s World Cup drawing from which we will determine a potential date for a World Cup Screening in Dupont Circle Park.— Aaron DeNu (@AaronDeNu) December 5, 2013
Officially announced intentions to bring World Cup Soccer to Dupont Circle @ #ANC2B. FIFA paperwork submitted & NPS arrangements underway…— Aaron DeNu (@AaronDeNu) December 12, 2013
After seeing DeNu’s tweets, the Germany embassy worked with Dupont Festival and agreed to sponsor Thursday’s event, which was no small undertaking. DeNu said each Dupont Circle viewing costs $30,000 to pay for permits and book the vendors that provide the large screens, sound, security and generator. While DeNu’s FIFA permit allows him to broadcast the entire World Cup in Dupont Circle, he does not have the money or a sponsor to fund another one.
DeNu, an associate director for technology, outreach and events at George Washington University, took three days off work to organize Thursday’s event, and would happily do it again.
“If I got the money today, I would go down and deposit it right now,” said Denu.
DeNu, who organized a similar viewing during the last World Cup four years ago, estimates 10,000 people attended Thursday’s event, which included a broadcast of the South Korea-Belgium game following the U.S. game. ESPN showed the throng of soccer fans several times in its broadcast.
“I do this all for free,” DeNu said. “I absolutely love it.”