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Soccer Fans Get Their Kicks at Bush Intercontinental Airport

World Cup action is available to passengers in Terminal D

Houston Airport System
July 1, 2010

© Houston Airport System
The viewing area has become incredibly popular with international passengers in Terminal D

Soccer fans from around the world are now enjoying a special viewing area at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), where the latest action from the World Cup soccer tournament comes to life on a seven-foot-high television screen.

The area is located near Gate 6 in Terminal D and offers seating for more than a hundred people, along with easy access to food and beverage options.

“I think this is a wonderful idea,” said passenger Andre Bocelli. “Not only do you get to watch the games on a big screen, but you can gather together with other fans. It’s a lot of fun.”

Team members with the Houston Airport System (HAS) say they chose Terminal D as the location for the viewing area because it’s a facility that’s dedicated solely to international travel.

“All of us with HAS realized early on just how important this event is to the people visiting Houston from other countries,” said HAS Deputy Assistant Director for Customer Relations and Special Services Tim Joniec. “The passion for this tournament is unbelievable, so we had to make sure that our international passengers were able to catch all the excitement.”

That passion has definitely been on display throughout the first several matches of the tournament, as the crowds have repeatedly reached the “standing-room-only” level.

Guests have two seating areas from which to choose. There is an area directly in front of the television screen, which features traditional gate-area seating, and there’s a separate area available where groups can enjoy banquet-table seating, complete with food and beverage service from “Lefty’s Passport Grill.”

Matches are typically shown during both the morning and afternoon hours. “I wasn’t really expecting anything like this,” said Frank Rangel as he waited for his flight to Mexico. “I thought if I was lucky then I might be able to find a tiny TV set in a crowded bar, so this is much better then what I had in mind.”

And with tens-of-thousand of people passing through the Terminal D facility during the life of the tournament, there’s also plenty of opportunity for good natured rivalries to liven the discussion.

For example, at the same time the French and Mexican national soccer teams were playing each other in South Africa, passengers in Houston were waiting for flights to Mexico City and Paris.

Fans of both teams gathered in front of the TV screen that afternoon, cheering for their favorite teams and players.

The World Cup soccer tournament is only held once every four years. This year’s championship match is scheduled to take place on July 11.

Copyright © 2010 - Houston Airport System

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