Chicago, fans of USA prepare for big match against Germany - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chicago, fans of USA prepare for big match against Germany

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The United States and Germany are gearing up for a showdown in Brazil that many are calling one of the biggest soccer matches in US History. Grant Park’s Petrillo Music Shell will be ready for the tens of thousands of soccer fans expected for Thursday’s World Cup game.

Organizers will be ready as well.

"We will be doing bag checks and we encourage you not to bring bags as it’ll make it faster for you to get in the gates. Or we’ll have to do bag checks for safety reasons," said U.S. Soccer Director of Marketing, Mike Gressle.

Other items you cannot bring with you include; tents, canopies, outside alcohol, large backpacks, hard-sided coolers,ccostumess covering the face or any non-form fitting bulky outfits, bicycles or pets.

City officials said security will be tight around the event.

Gates open at 10 a.m. and space will be limited. Chicagoans lined up early Thursday morning to guarantee a spot at the viewing party.

“I think our estimate is 30,000 capacity, and I think that’s a pretty conservative number. So if we get more we will try to find a way to accommodate as many as we possibly can," added Gressle.

Fans attending the viewing party were scooping up jerseys at 'Chicago Soccer' in Ravenswood.

“The USA jerseys are the number 1 selling item in this store. We’ve been open for 20 years and we haven’t seen sales like this summer. It’s good for us, it’s good for the Chicago community coming together," said Regional Store Manager, David Gubala.

Matthew Brennan will be joining in at Grant Park, despite not really following soccer.

"There's a good chance we’re going to advance and Germany is a big team. Portugal would have been a great game to go see it just didn’t happen. So tomorrow morning should be fun," said Brennan.

Others agree that bandwagon fans are trying their best to learn and embrace the sport.

"Nobody knows anyone on the team, nobody knows, I guess, what it’s taken to get to that point. But to watch it on the big screen with your city and country is awesome," said Lauren Marino.

Public transportation is expected to be packed on Thursday morning. Metra and the South Shore have warned its passengers and reminded them that no alcohol or bicycles will be allowed on its trains. The CTA will have longer trains running all day Thursday on the Green, Orange and Brown Line trains.

The game begins at 11 a.m.

As the fans say, "Go USA!"

FOX 32's Anita Padilla contributed to this story.


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