By Jessica Kartalija

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Billions of people around the world are watching the 2014 World Cup. And with the United States hanging onto a chance to advance to the second round, Marylanders are tuning in to watch. That has business at area bars booming.

Jessica Kartalija reports, all  signs point to soccer fever.

Inside Mick O’Shea’s, fans watch the World Cup around the clock.

“We were packed yesterday for the Portugal game,” said David Niehenke, Mick O’Shea’s owner.

The Irish pub has been a hot spot for Charm City locals to watch the World Cup, meaning big business.

“Yesterday was a Sunday, which tends to be one of the slower games of the week, and during the USA match, you couldn’t find a seat anywhere,” Niehenke said.

Bars have had to prepare for the boost in business.

“A lot more people are out and into it, wearing team colors. People are really into Team USA this year,” said Mike Evitts, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

Power Plant Live! was also packed Sunday night when the United States played Portugal.

“We’ve had some premier league friendly games that have sold out M&T Bank Stadium,” Evitts said. “The national rankings for the U.S. game on Sunday, Baltimore was the eighth largest market for that game in the country, and D.C. was first, so we are definitely a soccer-friendly region.”

With a city that loves its baseball and football team, will Baltimore fans embrace soccer?

“It’s a great source of national pride and a chance to be proud of our country and our boys on our team,” Niehenke said.

The United States tied with Portugal on Sunday night. In order for the USA to advance to the next round in the World Cup, they must beat or tie with Germany on Thursday.

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