I have been a huge football/soccer fan since being introduced to the English Premier League in the late 90’s. Believe it or not, back then it wasn’t so easy to keep up with the sport. The games weren’t on local television and there were just a handful of pubs that showed matches from Europe and other top world leagues. The place to go back then was hands down Nevada Smiths. The place’s slogan said it all, “where football is religion”.
I had some friends from Ireland living in New York at the time that were big Manchester United fans. They invited me to go watch a match between United and Arsenal. I’ll never forget showing up at Nevada Smith’s at 7AM for a 12PM UK time kick off. Not only was the place packed, it was jumping. Fans from both sides were there singing, chanting and ready for the match. Of course there were some beverages being served at this early hour and there was a communal feeling in the air. It was hard not to get hooked.
The popularity of the sport has grown significantly since then and the number of matches that fans can now watch from home is huge. Regardless, it’s still great to get together with fellow fans and watch the match together.
Nevada Smiths is long gone, but its founder Jack Keane now runs a midtown location called The Football Factory where the list of matches and leagues shown is impressive.
This 2014 article from the UK’s The Guardian explains how the sports popularity here in NYC has grown over the years. When your ready, join us for a tour and then it’s off to the pub!
Manchester United fans celebrating a goal from Ryan Giggs as the Red Devils went on to defeat Wigan and wrap up the 2008 Premier League title.