Football: Take your pick of World Cup live public screenings in Singapore

Favourable timings of games in Russia see private, public organisations get in on the act

Members of the audience reacts to Wayne Rooney's equaliser goal for England at the live screening of World Cup match between Uruguay and England at the Bedok Community Centre, on June 20, 2014. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Undergraduate Oh Chin Ying fondly remembers rooting for his favourite team, England, at a mass screening of the World Cup in Brazil four years ago.

Despite the 6am kick-off (Singapore time) for the group-stage game won by Italy (2-1), the Sengkang Community Club (CC) was packed.

"It was late but the atmosphere was crazy, everyone was cheering and screaming," said the 24-year-old Oh, who caught the action with his friends.

"That moment when someone scores and the entire crowd erupts - it's the closest you can get to a stadium atmosphere."

While the People's Association is "exploring with the telcos" when asked about its plans for the CCs this time, other organisations are once again gearing up to air live matches of the 2018 finals in Russia from June 14 to July 15.

The Sports Hub will be holding live screenings at the OCBC Square on a 66 sq m LED screen following a strong turnout in 2014.

For instance, more than 1,000 turned up for its screening of the final between Germany and Argentina. The matches to be screened this year have yet to be decided.

"The Singapore Sports Hub is thrilled to, once again, bring the excitement of the Fifa World Cup to the community," said Christina Lim, corporate and stakeholder communications director.

"We warmly welcome everyone - Singaporeans and visitors, family and friends, our senior citizens, adults, youth and children - to enjoy live broadcasts of this global game that we all love.

"This is part of our festival of football where many football-related activities and programmes will be organised at our venues, for all to experience and enjoy."

Safra and McDonald's will also be screening the matches. So are Brewerkz, at two of its four outlets, and Muddy Murphy Holdings - at The Penny Black, Prince of Wales and Muddy Murphy's Irish Pub.

"Being one of the first places to do live screening in Singapore, we do see an increase in reservations (during the World Cup season)," said Brewerkz marketing executive Samantha See. England supporter Michael Yan is planning to catch this year's showpiece at the bars.

"I can cheer as loud as I like without my wife chasing me out of the house," said the 52-year-old area manager. "Also, beer at the bars is always colder than at home."

The favourable match timings at this year's Finals have also attracted new establishments. 1-Altitude, an alfresco bar at One Raffles Place, will be screening the World Cup for the first time.

"The timings of the games this year are just nice. We can incorporate the games into our entertainment programme that runs from 6pm to 4am on weekends," said 1-Altitude general manager Ian Sim.

Kick-off for the earlier games is at 8pm (Singapore time) this year, with the later matches starting between 9pm and 3am.

At Brazil 2014, play started only after midnight. A Singtel spokesman also noted that it has "seen strong interest from businesses particularly in the F&B sector to carry the World Cup matches in their premises".

The early-bird prices for businesses are $2,876.16 ($3,090.16 standard rate) for the standard screen package, and $2,020.16 for each additional screen.

For screens larger than 50 inches, the price is $5,016.16 ($5,230.16 standard rate) and $3,090.16 for each additional screen.

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