Soccer Pub vs. Sports Bar; part 4- Churchill’s Mckinney
The DFE has been working for over 3 years now to help increase soccer awareness and help provide the best soccer atmosphere for all to enjoy. Since FC Dallas plays away matches, we have had many opportunities to visit establishments in North Dallas, specifically the Collin County area. Our goal has been to determine the best spots to not only support FC Dallas but to support soccer in general.
Now, before we get started, if you are that guy reading this thinking that soccer hasn’t arrived. You can just keep living in your bubble. Soccer has arrived in the United States, and soccer in Dallas is growing rapidly. Of course it’s not at the level of American football, however; it definitely has a strong following. There is a vast following that goes to extraordinary means to find the best soccer atmosphere to watch their match.
It was thought that soccer was unwanted in the United States and nobody had a deep connection to the support. Well, that’s what the media wanted us to believe. Then the social networking revolution took off. Donovan said it best himself. After the 2010 world cup, he noted that he had no idea how many people cared until they went to the 2010 world cup, and for the first time got to see their following on twitter and facebook. Twitter and Facebook showed our country that the game is watched and there are passionate supporters out there in the millions.
Why I bring this up? Because now that we know there is a legitimate following, a pub or bar can be made or broken through social networking as can most businesses. However, when you have the title “Pub” in your name, or a European pub name, and you don’t support soccer, you might as well understand that you are confusing a large population of people that are coming out in huge numbers. Or if you are an establishment that claims to support soccer, however baseball is glued to your TV during the summer months, and your staff has no idea what match you are talking about, trust me the word of mouth and social networking world will voice that.
With other sports the “watching party” mentality is not as heavy because other sports don’t have “supporter groups.” Not only do they not have supporter groups, but most sports have a home team that you can go and watch live or watch on your local television station. Soccer fans typically want to watch with like minded fans. Since the sport is world wide, if you are watching a league outside of MLS, then you want to go to a spot where you can find your brothers and sisters that are as intense as you are about your club. Even with FC Dallas, when our club is on the road we want to find where our local supporter groups are gathering and join them. The culture in soccer is embraced with camaraderie and the true pub atmosphere. All we want is our match on the big screen with sound, a pint with a great price, and a staff that is eager to embrace our passion for the game! This treatment in our eyes is the VIP treatment we ask for!
It’s so hard not to love Churchill’s in McKinney! The pub is set up and looks like the most authentic English pub in all of DFW. Which isn’t too surprising since Churchill’s was once owned by the Londoner people.
If we are talking food, beer, and a quite atmosphere, Churchill’s is the place for you. They have regulars that live there, and really go out of their way to embrace everything about England, with the exception of soccer. It’s hard to get a read on what direction Churchill’s is trying to go with attracting people to their place. The staff is extremely friendly, but very clueless to soccer and what is going on. In many experiences they have had opportunities to embrace FC Dallas matches, and USA matches for customers coming in to watch. The staff had no idea these matches were even being played, and struggled to find the channel. On nights when they are able to find the channel for you, the jukebox remains playing loud that you lose the pub atmosphere you were hoping to gain.
There is a giant projector screen in the main upstairs dining area. However, when called to reserve it for a match, we were told that only if everyone in the dining area wanted it. When we showed up they wouldn’t bring the screen down because their tables had guest at them right under the screen.
There has been many experiences baseball has been given the nod over soccer. It is what it is, and no hard feelings about it. It’s just sad to see that such a great pub that has so much potential doesn’t want to go this way.
On one hand it’s very sad that such a great little pub with so much potential doesn’t embrace soccer. On the other hand, you can’t overlook the great service, food, and quite atmosphere you will find there. This really is a great place to go, just not for soccer.
Soccer Pub vs. Sports Bar – Sports Bar
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The Ginger Man