Where to Watch the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Sydney
It's time to start carb loading, vuvuzela blowing and early morning venue planning.
June 12, 2014
With the 2014 FIFA World Cup seriously almost upon us, it's time to start your carb loading, vuvuzela blowing and early morning venue planning. Despite the Brazil-based, productivity-dooming early starts for all matches, a number of Sydney venues are finding ways to work with the lockout and open their doors to football-mad patrons, offering up some World Cup specials and screenings to give you the best seats in the house over the next few crazy, crazy weeks.
THE ENMORE THEATRE
Having proven itself one of the best places to watch the 2010 World Cup, the Enmore Theatre will again be live broadcasting all games involving both the Greek and Australian teams. Boasting a giant 9x6m screen, enormous sound system, warm theatre seating, bar, cafe and — most importantly — wildly passionate fans surrounding you, spots will be sure to sell out quickly.
Cost: $15 + booking fee (02 9550 3666)
Location: 118-132 Enmore Road, Newtown
One of Sydney's go-to pubs for The World Game, The Rose has proved a solid World Cup venue over the last few instalments. With its openair beer garden and last year's renovated upstairs area perfect for early morning ventures, Chippendale's beloved Rose is a solid pub option if you're after the buzzy vibe without the supercrowds. They’re screening games every morning from the wee hours both inside and out, with bacon and egg rolls ($7), brekkie pizzas ($15), bacon, feta and tomato croissants ($8) and eggs benedict ($16) strolling on out out of the kitchen. The legends are even putting on coffee for all morning games, and giving out wifi codes so you can bring your laptop and work/play multitask. Nice.
Location: 52-54 Cleveland St, Chippendale
Boasting another giant screen and an enormous warmed-up marquee, World Square will be broadcasting the games live, beginning with Brazil vs Croatia from 5:30am on 13 June. Grill'd, Sourdough, Primavera and Gloria Jeans will be open to keep you appropriately nourished, penalty shootout competitions will be on to keep you appropriately entertained and Brazilian dancers will be on hand to keep you appropriately questioning your ability to dance. Repeats of the games will also be run throughout the day in case the dawn starts are as unappealing as your samba.
Location: 680 George St, Sydney
VIC ON THE PARK
Enmore/Marrickville's favourite finger-on-the-pulse pub Vic on the Park are hosting a World Cup brekky on Saturday, June 14, screening the Socceroos vs Chile game in all its false hope glory in the front bar. Opening at 7:30am for an 8am kick off, the kitchen will be cranking out epic bacon and egg rolls ($10), while the always legendary bar staff whip up freshly squeezed voddy OJs ($8) and Bloody Marys by the glass or by the jug ($10/$25). Then they’ll rinse and repeat the brekky goodness for the England vs Italy game the next morning on Sunday, June 15.
Location: 2 Addison Road, Marrickville
This World Cup, the Light Brigade in Woollahra isn't taking any chances with its reputation as being the sport-watching pub of the Eastern Suburbs. It's pulling out all stops — extending trading hours through the night and early morning, playing live games through the night (plus replays during the day for those not-so-diehards who value their sleep), and serving up a night menu, hot breakfast and coffee to keep you fuelled no matter what strange hour of the day or night you find yourself there. Expect to see all Australian games, all major group games and selected finals, and expect to see them on a pretty impressive 103" plasma screen.
Location: 2A Oxford St, Woollahra (02) 9357 0888
If you fancy yourself fairly adroit with a foosball table, and need a break from watching actual games (we won't tell anyone), head to the MLC Centre when the rest of the world heads to bed to prove your mad skills on the small field. From June 12 to July 13 there'll be two foosball tables set up in the centre of the birdcage, ready for you to battle it out for your own World Cup glory. There are no prizes here, save bragging rights. That, and the knowledge that you're pretty awesome.
Location: 19 Martin Place, Sydney
If you can't make it to Brazil, the next best thing is a straight up authentic Brazilian restaurant — and Braza Churrascaria is the place you're looking for. It'll be screening all the Brazilian and Australian group matches, as well as the Round of 16, Quarters, Semis and the Final. Put another way, they'll be screening a lot of Brazil's matches and three with Australia. They'll also be serving up a massive Brazilian breakfast complete with sausage and rump cap skewers, stuffed cheese bread, Brazilian tortilla and polenta chips.
Cost: $24 big breakfast
Location: 1/25 Harbour St, Darling Harbour (02) 9286 3733
Having just installed a two-storey bigscreen in the beer garden, the Newmarket brings the large-scale CBD buzz to your Mascot local. Kicking off at 6:30am for Brazil vs Croatia on Friday, June 13, the Newmarket has been know to put everything on hold for a sporting event — rugby, SuperBowl, league; you name it, the Newmarket's yelled at it. Solid pub food, local brews, enraged locals — sounds like a World Cup go-to to us.
Location: Cnr Gardeners Rd and Botany Rd, Mascot
If sport really is the last truly unscripted drama, then Hoyts is the pefect place to catch every FIFA 2014 blockbuster. Throughout the entire tournament, selected cinemas will be offering up not only their cinematically enormous screens, surround sound systems and candy bar treats, but also a hot breakfast package included with your ticket. Forget biting your nails and instead sink your teeth into a hot toastie (bacon and egg or ham and cheese), then wash it all down with some OJ as you cheer on your team through the big climax and into the closing credits.
Cost: Group matches - $22 per person, Round of 16/Quarter Finals/Semi-Finals - $27 per person, Final - $32 per person (all matches include a $1.10 online booking fee / discounts available for group bookings over 20 people).
Location: Selected cinemas
From 13 June to 14 July, The Star will be offering two huge venues in which to catch all the games live. Sports Bar will feature all 64 games, along with pre-game entertainment and loads of food and drinks; whilst The Star Event Centre will be transformed into the ultimate fan experience - the 'Hyundai Fan Park' - boasting cutting edge audio visual technology, live entertainment and food offers. And if you don't like Australia's chances in the World Cup, remember: they are still better odds than winning just about anything in The Star.
Location: Casino (Level 1): 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
Let's not kid ourselves — getting out of bed is hard enough at the best of times, and 2:30am in winter is far from the best. The solution? Stay in bed. One of the more amusing characteristics of the past two World Cups since Australia has been involved is the sound of households around your neighbourhood cheering in unison through all hours of the morning (amusing, so long as you're also awake).
For those who favour the comfort of your own fridge and couch groove over the roaring shared experience, SBS will be screening every game live, with kickoff times handily calculated by any number of websites, like Fox Sports' comprehensive FIFA breakdown.
And remember, if you're calling in sick to work, lie down on your back while spinning flu-ridden lies; it restricts airflow and enhances the effect. Or buy the sick notes in advance.
Cost: Free (plus ample Cheezel, beer and questionable-but-barbequable meat budget)
Location: Your joint, strewn with television-thrown socks, pencils and other non-commital screenward torpedoes
Words by Tom Glasson, Jessica Surman and Shannon Connellan.