WASHINGTON – Sunday morning marks the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with hosts Qatar and Ecuador kicking things off in the opening game.
A recent study by Gamling.com states that DMV residents were most excited about the tournament.
Tanvi Bhargava lives in Falls Church and is ready.
“This is one of my favorite pastimes,” said Bhargava.
Alex Furno lives in Silver Spring and will be tuning in specifically to cheer for the US team
“We’ll see how far they get,” Furno said.
There is hope in the district that the tournament could be good for business.
A FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 official ball is seen in this photo illustration in front of the Doha skyline ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Draw March 31, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
A few months ago, DC Council passed and Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law the World Cup Emergency Amendment Act of 2022. The act allows bars that request and receive an exemption to serve alcohol from 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. the next day for the duration of the tournament .
According to ABRA, the district’s alcohol regulator, 121 bars are approved.
“Well, one thing, it’s something that every four years gets excited about. It’s nice that especially this year as a DC community we can really come back and celebrate futbol,” said Andra “AJ” Johnson , managing partner at Serenata in La Cosecha near Union Market.
Johnson says the restaurant will offer drink specialties to match the teams playing.
Johnson will open the bar early, with staff starting around their normal time. But the feedback she hears from friends is that she will be busy.
“A lot of people will be here,” Johnson said.
Same story at Hook Hall on Georgia Avenue in Northwest DC, Assistant General Manager Daniel Gonzales. As of Saturday evening, he expected between 80 and 100 people first thing on Monday morning and a larger number as the day progressed.
Gonzalez expects at least 300 people for the USA-England game on Black Friday on FOX 5.
Gonzales says his staff know this is a big opportunity.
“Yes, we will open at seven in the morning. It was a bit of a challenge but everyone is on board, we’re looking forward to seeing some games,” says Gonzales.