INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A block party will be held in downtown Indianapolis on Tuesday for the World Cup. It’s further proof that soccer is taking hold in a city where basketball and football have been getting most of the attention.
“The front half will be seating and the food trucks will probably be back here,” said Ted Waldroup, VP of Indianapolis Professional Firefighters Union Local 416, pointing to a parking lot on Mass Ave.
The local 416 building and museum on Mass Ave will be part of soccer central for Tuesday’s World Cup block party.
“It’s a great idea. It’s a great neighborhood down here. It’s very vibrant. It’s going to be an excellent time,” said Waldroup.
Three giant 9×12 foot LED TVs will show the USA vs. Belgium game.
Owners of bars in the area, like Tracy Robertson at Mass Ave Pub, can’t wait.
“We are so excited about this. It’s going to be amazing. Three jumbotrons showing USA Soccer. I think it’s going to be one fantastic party,” she said.
Even at J Benzal, a men’s clothing store in the heart of the party street, there are positive vibes.
“It could bring new faces and people who haven’t necessarily heard of us or don’t have exposure. It will be good exposure basically,” says Amber Walton, the store’s manager.
Tom Dunmore, Vice President of Marketing & Operations for the Indy Eleven, said there will be a specific area set up for families with inflatables and games. Indy Eleven players will also be there signing autographs.
Indy Eleven along with the city, Indianapolis Downtown Inc. and Bright House Networks are behind the party.
“You know, we did think about Georgia Street. Obviously it’s a great location for an event like this. Mass Ave has that connection with Chatham Tap and it’s that soccer community that’s fueled the growth of the sport here and we wanted to reward Chatham Tap,” said Dunmore.
No one knows how many people will show up, but at Chatham Tap, owner Daniel Jones isn’t afraid to say thousands.
“The best teams in the world, playing at the highest level. You know, with nothing but pride and passion on the line. It’s drawn more people up til now than I would have thought,” he says.
On Tuesday, Mass Ave will be closed to traffic from Park Avenue to College Avenue beginning at 9:30 a.m. Gates open at 2 p.m. and admission is free. You can bring chairs, blankets and personal coolers. The game starts at 4 p.m.
There is no plan as to what will happen if it rains that day, according to city officials.