BEIRUT: With the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil approaching, bars, clubs and event planners are bringing the games to Lebanon. The World Cup is scheduled to open on June 12 with the first match between five-time winner Brazil and Croatia. As the excitement mounts, The Daily Star has compiled a list of top places football enthusiasts can check out to feel right at home cheering for their favorite teams.
BEIRUT FAN PARKLocated on the Beirut waterfront, the Beirut Fan Park is opening to the public on June 13, providing food, drinks and four LED screens to watch the World Cup games, according to Hadi al-Hibri, founder of the organizing team VII Management.
The park is separated into a general admission area, which will broadcast the game on two screens, a VIP section with one screen and a food court, also equipped with a screen.
“It’s going to be a nice vibe,” Hibri said. “It’s a place where the youth can come together through a shared passion for sports.”
Along with food stands run by popular outlets such as Crepaway and Pinkberry, the park will also sell alcoholic drinks provided by Checkpoint Charlie and February 30. Although VII Management is still finalizing specific details, Hibri said there would be daily promotions throughout the month.
The general admission fee is set at between LL10,000 and LL15,000, whereas the VIP section will cost around LL30,000, he said. As the tournament intensifies, these prices are subject to change.
MIX FM’S BIG MATCH MADNESS AT BO18
Mix FM and BO18 have joined together to host viewing parties for several football matches, beginning with Spain and the Netherlands on June 13. Mix FM’s DJs will be playing music at BO18 before the game starts, during half-time and for a party afterward, said Lara Kays, the station’s events coordinator.
Mix FM and BO18 have selected eight matches to show from the first round and are expected to announce other game schedules later in June.
They will also be giving out “goodies,” such as scarves, hats, flags, glasses and “many more surprises,” Kays said.
“And with football, you need a certain kind of food,” she added.
Classic Burger Joint’s menu will be available, along with appetizers, chicken wings and pizza.
Although there is no minimum charge, reservations are encouraged.
CAFFE MONDO, PHOENICIA HOTEL
The Phoenicia Hotel’s Caffe Mondo will show the games on multiple large screens, offering a “Selfie Zone” where customers can upload their pictures on Instagram and enter a chance to win weekly prizes during the month, said Maria Jabbour, senior public relations and communication executive at the Phoenicia Hotel.
Caffe Mondo is getting into the spirit with World Cup-themed decor, including flags and football goals, around the terrace, scoreboards setup at the entrance and staff members dressed in team uniforms. The Italian restaurant also includes a nargileh area on its terrace.
In addition to the Selfie Zone, customers who have visited eight times will receive a free dinner for two.
The restaurant will have a minimum charge of $35, up until the semifinal and final matches, when the price will rise to $45.
HYUNDAI FOOTBALL VILLAGEThe Hyundai Football Village, located in Zaitunay Bay, will also be showing the matches from Jun. 12 until Jul. 13 on a large LED screen. Similarly to the Beirut Fan Park, the temporary venue will offer a VIP section in addition to cushioned bleacher seating for non-VIP guests.
Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Although certain details are not finalized, the village will also include half-time entertainment, said Jessica Bou Aoun, public relations and marketing executive at Solicet.
“Hyundai Football Village is sure to attract a great crowd,” Bou Aoun added.
Reservations are required.