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Central VA Soccer Retailers See Spike in Sales with World Cup Fe - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Central VA Soccer Retailers See Spike in Sales with World Cup Fever

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) -

It certainly wasn't the outcome millions of Americans were hoping for.

The U.S. was knocked out of the World Cup by Belgium Tuesday night. But fans crowded TVs all around Charlottesville hoping to pull out a win, and that meant booming business for a lot of places in the area. The hype surrounding the games also had a huge financial impact on places selling the World Cup gear.

Chris Dolinger, the manager at Total Soccer, says sales have jumped by 20 percent since the World Cup started.

"Probably the best thing overall was the fact that the hype - everybody in this community has been absolutely fantastic and just coming in and really enjoying the game,” he said.

There's not much left at Dolinger’s store but a few jerseys and soccer balls to pick from. He says the World Cup is about much more than winning or losing; he says it's an inspiring time for the younger generation.

"I've already talked to several kids and parents that have said their kids after watching some of these games are already like, ‘I want to sign up. Put me up for the fall season,’" Dolinger said.

Even though this year didn't work out as many had hoped, fans still have a lot to brag about.

“I'm so proud. I think they did a really good job. I mean, top 16 in the world - that's amazing,” said Maggie Spriggs, a U.S. fan who watched Tuesday’s game at Wild Wing Café.

And there’s always next time.

Another fan, Whitney Farmer, said, "I think we're going to keep getting better and better. I mean it's just a matter of time before we potentially win the World Cup.”

Despite the U.S. loss, businesses say they are still excited to show the rest of the World Cup games. There are still two more weeks of matchups until the championship game on July 13.

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