Jeramey Jannene
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Soccer Crowd Shuts Down Brady Street

As many as 15,000 people pack Brady Street and surround Nomad Bar, while celebrating USA v Portugal game.

By - Jun 23rd, 2014 12:11 pm
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Centered around the recently controversial Nomad World Pub, soccer fans took to the streets Sunday afternoon for the USA vs Portugal World Cup game. The game was scheduled to start at 5 p.m., but the area off N. Warren Ave. that was closed was filling up by 3 p.m. By the start of the game, E. Brady St. had to be unexpectedly closed from N. Arlington Pl. to N. Farwell Ave. Not long before half time, a crowd was forming on the roof of Jimmy John’s and a van parked on Brady. If anyone doubted the appetite for soccer in Milwaukee, Sunday was yet another demonstration that Milwaukeeans are open to embracing the beautiful game, and they’re really eager if they get to drink beer in the streets and chant “USA, USA”.

Mike Eitel‘s Nomad World Pub was the official host of the street closure, having a portable screen installed approximately four doors south of Brady on Warren and a temporary bar in the middle of Warren. Eitel was far from the only beneficiary though, as fans packed the adjacent Club Brady as well as Malone’s, Jack’s American Pub, Jo Cats, Hi Hat, World of Beer, and more.

I had mentioned that Brady St. should have been closed in a Facebook post around 3:30, snapping a photo from the north side of the street as the crowd was bleeding out a hour and a half before the game’s start. The crowd itself forced the issue around kick-off, even as Eitel was out asking the crowd to stay off Brady. It’s unclear what the city will bill the Nomad for this and I wouldn’t expect an ugly situation, as the neighborhood’s alderman Nik Kovac was one of thousands in attendance. An estimate has been offered up of 15,000 in attendance, that seems high to me, but it was a huge crowd. And that 15,000 figure doesn’t include other soccer-centric taverns in the city like The Highbury or Upper 90 either, both of which were reportedly full for the game.

The party on Brady was a sight to see, but it’s unfortunate Eitel didn’t follow through on his plans to build soccer city in the Park East. The gigantic Park East parcel he had reserved west of the river could certainly have hosted countless more people. On the flip side, Eitel is probably beloved by his fellow Brady St. bar owners for the piles of cash he made them yesterday.

While the game ended in a draw thanks to a last second goal by Portugal (as one friend remarked, “that just saved the Lower East Side [from a riot]”),  fans were ready to party with every USA goal. My fiance described those moments as “beer rain” — when beers went flying into the air as high fives were exchanged and chants of “USA, USA!” and “I believe that we will win!” were repeated over and over, as utter joy transfixed the fans.

The thousands in attendance illustrate the fun that can be had on Milwaukee’s urban streets. The city should seek to cultivate these events, not shun them. Early season Packer games, post-season Bucks games (draft party on Thursday), Olympic gold medal games. It’s yet another way the city has an edge over the suburbs, people aren’t going to stand on W. Bluemound Rd. to watch a soccer game, no matter how many lanes they widen it to.

Our photos capture the event, but you’ll really want to experience it in person for the full effect. The Nomad has a scheduled street closure (including Brady) for the final game of the World Cup on July 13th.

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4 thoughts on “Photo Gallery: Soccer Crowd Shuts Down Brady Street”

  1. Joel P says:

    Three Lions Pub had one in and one out policy about 30 minutes before kick off, the atmosphere was unreal. Fortunately they had the hindsight to close the street down before Englands big game and the US game. They also have a street festival and jumbotron lined up for the final. Despite these issues the atmosphere and embracing of the game is amazing. Crowds have been electric and the USA’s success so far has introduced many to the sport. Long may it continue.

  2. Andy says:

    Something tells me that the average Brookfield resident is not the same demographic as those who would want to stand jammed together on a city street so they may or may not be able to get a glimpse of an outdoor screen playing the game. They probably are the type that would prefer to sit nestled in their oversized recliner with their own large screen tv in front of them with nothing to block their view… content with the fact that if they needed more beer or nachos that they could hop in the car and drive on clear roads to the supermarket a few blocks away. Oh, and be back before the end of the commercial break no less.

    Ah, who am I kidding… no one in Brookfield watches soccer!

  3. Cathy says:

    I love the events The Nomad brings to Brady St. Living a half block north of the Nomad, yesterday was filled with exuberant fans, great music and excitement. I was able to sit on my neighbors porch and watch the game on the big screen. I also love the vibrancy of The Brady Street neighborhood. City living at it’s best.

  4. David says:

    Nothing was mentioned about the impact on public safety that this event had on the Brady St area. Mike Eitel and the other Brady St business owners should have planned for the overflow crowds. They should have gotten a permit to close down a larger area of Brady St instead of the small section of N. Warren St. next to the Nomad. While the crowd of soccer fans were mostly well behaved, events like this put an extra strain on emergency services. While the business owners on Brady St. profit the average Milwaukee taxpayer gets left holding the bill.

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