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World Cup soccer game brings thousands to Canalside

Ashley Hirtzel

Team USA lost to Germany 1-0 in a widely anticipated World Cup soccer game Thursday. Thousands of people gathered at Canalside in downtown Buffalo for the noon-time matchup.

The crowd of fans was a sea of red, white and blue for the game that included food trucks and other vendors on site for the event.

Governor Andrew Cuomo approved an extra hour for lunch for New York State employees to watch the game. Many Buffalo-based companies also allowed an extended lunch hour for the game.

Renee Meier, who plays for the Western New York Flash Women’s Soccer Team, says she was excited to see the large turnout for the game.

“It’s awesome. It’s a country thing. I guess our country doesn’t do it like other countries do it and we’re trying to make it happen here and if this is an example of it we’re doing pretty well,” said Meier.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Fans enjoying the World Cup soccer game at Canalside in Buffalo.

Meier says she hopes the World Cup events at Canalside boost the fan base for soccer in the region.

John Kurdziel brought his two sons to the soccer game. He says the event helped him share his love of sports with his boys.

“I think the kids really like getting into the crowds and getting into games like this. They love going to sporting events and games like this. It's just a different experience being that it's on the world level," said Kurdziel.

Teddy Kurdziel said he had a blast at the event with his dad.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Food trucks were on site for the viewing of the World Cup soccer game at Canalside.

“I just like excitement and cheering for USA,” said Kurdziel.

Tim Konicki says he was also happy all of the progress at Canalside and to see so many people in downtown Buffalo enjoying the game.

“I love what they’ve done with Canalside, what they continue to do. I’m really happy to see a lot of the things that are going on down here. It’s about time,” said Konicki.

Despite the loss, Team USA does move on to the next round of the World Cup due to Portugal’s 2-1 win over Ghana.