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May, 2006 - Nr. 5


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U.S. soccer fans head to Germany for World Cup

  TWIG - American soccer fans will come to Germany in impressive numbers to cheer on their team at this summer’s World Cup, according to tournament organizers.

So far, Americans have booked around 27,000 overnight stays at German hotels, organizers said — many of them in and around Hamburg, the northern port city that U.S. Soccer has chosen as its base of operations throughout the tournament.

That figure, though, does not include fans who have turned to services that match budget travelers with Germans who have a free room to rent.

Nor does it take into account those who will bring their camping gear to Germany, which is encouraging even fans without tickets to join the party atmosphere in the more than 200 towns and cities that will be screening matches in market squares, stadiums and parks.

Americans count among the most popular of Germany’s international guests, with only soccer fans from Germany’s southern neighbor Switzerland proving better-liked in a survey that asked Germans whom they would most like to rent a spare room to during the 32-team tournament.

Some 35% of poll respondents said they favored an American guest, compared to a 46% vote for the Swiss, according to the study, which was sponsored by the real estate portal immobilienscout24.

All told, visitors from 72 countries have already booked over a million overnight stays for the June 9-July 9 tournament, with fans of reigning champs Brazil leading the pack with 52,000 overnight stays booked so far.

A total of more than three million fans are expected to attend at least one of the 64 World Cup matches being held in 12 cities, including Munich, Hamburg and Berlin. About one-third of them will come from abroad.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


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