It was nearly three hours before kickoff of Uruguay’s match with Venezuela at Lincoln Financial Field, but the parking lot on the north side of the stadium, facing Center City, turned into the scene from a block party in Montevideo. Thousands of Uruguayan fans came to South Philly to cheer on their Luis Suarez-less national team on Thursday, wearing their flags like capes and chanting, singing and drumming like their soccer lives depended on it.
Here are some of the sights and sounds.
This was the first fan I saw when I went into the parking area. It got wilder.
Flags were everywhere. It’s as if they came free with the tickets.
Food was plentiful too. If they were smart, the guy with these steaks and sausages should have swapped some food for half that case of Heineken. Also, Heineken?
Did I mention it was loud?
I stood next to this woman for about five minutes and realized she was making more money with her tailgate concession stand than Chickies will tonight inside the building. The skewers looked fantastic. No, I didn’t get one and yes, I still regret that decision.
This guy wins the day.
I don’t know what this sign says, but I don’t think it’s related to Trump. But these ladies made me take the photo twice, so journalistic integrity compels me to include it.
As loud and raucous as the crowd was — and it was probably 90 percent Uruguayan fans to 10 percent Venezuelans — everything was peaceful. Sure, many of the fans were already falling down from various alcohol consumption, but other than the beer spilled on my arm for being too close to the celebrations, everything was fun, jovial and peaceful.
Even the mounted police in the lot seemed to be having a good time. At least the horses did.