Fans prepare for early mornings

Soccer fans will be up at the crack of dawn for the next month to cheeron their teams in the FIFA World Cup, which kicks off tomorrow.

Soccer fans will be up at the crack of dawn for the next month to cheer on their teams in the FIFA World Cup, which kicks off tomorrow.

FIFA is estimating that over 2 billion viewers worldwide will be watching the games live. However, the time difference between Calgary and South Africa will separate the true fans from those swept up in the hype.

A game isn’t a game without a cold pint — and that goes for the the 5:30 a.m. starts, too. To meet demand of patrons, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) has granted special permission to several restaurants and bars in the city to serve beer with breakfast.

Applications have been received and reviewed, but not all restaurants that requested the opening extension have been granted the extra time. According to AGLC communication officer Vanda Killeen, 31 establishments have been approved. However, the exact days and times doors open will vary.

“Some pubs have only requested early opens for specific game days based on their team of choice,” said Killeen.

Restaurant doors can now open as early as 5:30 a.m., with liquor service starting at 8 a.m, two hours earlier then usual.

“Liquor inspections will be stepped up a little to make sure restaurants are only opening early on the days they’ve applied for,” said Killeen. Restaurants are also required to have full meal service available — and they’re required to show the game.

Soccer fever hits an all- time high during World Cup years, said Calgary Minor Soccer Association Sport Coordinator Cory Letendre. “There is a boom in registration afterwards all across Canada,” he said.

“People want to be a part of the passion and emotion. Everyone wants to be a part of the soccer community.”

Although Letendre will be watching the early morning games with his sons from home, he understands the appeal of a dawn pub visit. “People want to get together for the games because they want to join in the excitement.”

Where to watch
• The Ship and Anchor
• Fiddler’s Court Yard
• Jameson’s Irish Pub
• James Joyce
• Molly Malone’s
• Shanks
• Hudson’s

 
 
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