ST. LOUIS – Soccer mania is all around St. Louis right now as the city prepares for the first game at CITYPARK this week.

“Everybody is going crazy for St. Louis CITY. CITY2 did amazing; they went to the playoffs and went to the final game, and that’s pretty much unheard of. So, I think everybody is just going crazy for the whole thing,” said Billy Holley, bartender at Amsterdam Tavern on Morgan Ford Road.

Over at Amsterdam Tavern, they are expecting big crowds of people watching the FIFA World Cup, which starts on Sunday, Nov. 19.

“St. Louis is by far like the biggest soccer city in the nation, so us getting a team and then whenever the World Cup comes on,” said Dave Stevens, Amsterdam Tavern. “There is a reason why this place gets so packed at 6 a.m. on a Saturday. St. Louis likes soccer.”

Fans and players are excited for the first game in the new CITYPARK stadium.

“It is good to strengthen the relationship with St. Louis between the MLS and the league, and I think it’s good to know each other even more. Europe is a soccer land and St. Louis as well. So, I think it’s a great opportunity for all of us,” said Fernando Carro, CEO of Bayer Leverkusen.

A new Ted Lasso billboard on Kingshighway is also gaining attention. Fans are eager to watch local players in the World Cup and hope they’ll eventually come home.

“We have Tim Ream and Josh Sargent, both of who are going to be on the World Cup team,” Holley said. “So local connections, so it would really be great to have a local player, obviously, eventually playing for St. Louis CITY.”