The United State's women's national team's World Cup final win over Japan did more than just pump up social media. Fans here in American football-dominated West Texas were even celebrating the victory. Thousands around Lubbock headed out to watch the big match.
"They played Japan four years ago, lost so we got a redemption going on today," FC Dallas West Texas vice president Keith Larremore said. "During the World Cup time, you're sporting your nation so a lot of folks that wouldn't traditionally watch a game, they're going to watch tonight and that's a lot of fun for everyone. So many times we get to fighting on the sidelines as far as my team versus your team type of thing. Tonight we're all pulling for the same goal of the national team."
Team USA got exactly that with a 5-2 win Sunday. Lubbock's sports bars are typically slow on Sundays, especially during the summertime with the majority of college students absent, but this past Sunday there were packed houses all over.
"Today it's a Sunday, we don't usually get too many people during the summer but we're expecting a full house purely because of the game tonight," Nicks Sports Grill manager Curtis Knox said. "It's a really slow period leading up to August and the fall and football, NFL and college. With the soccer, it's been a nice little addition every four years to have a little extra for people to come in and watch and just gives people something to come in and enjoy the atmosphere about. The growth has been substantial. We've had more and more people come in the further they've advanced."
In addition to sales skyrocketing on game days, our country is also seeing a major growth of the international sport.
"Definitely, definitely. Sales always go up during game times," Raider Park Grill general manager and The Roof partner Mark Schulte reiterated. "I just see the sport getting more and more popular, getting right up there with baseball, football and it's great!"
:"It is getting there, they're getting a lot of growth in the nation-wide numbers year after year. It's just going to take some time," Larremore added.
As for the World Cup final, it could not have came at a better time. Having it the day after Independence Day boosted patriotism and viewership for the championship game.
"It all lines up, the stars like up perfectly for a victory," Knox said. "Go USA!"
"Timing just worked out perfect," Larremore said.
"The day after the Fourth of July to celebrate the Women's World Cup. I think it's very exciting," Shulte said.
The next big tournement is the Fifa World Cup in Russia starting in June 2018.