Four years ago a reasonably strong argument could have been made that Memphis was not a soccer town.Memphis was almost exclusively a basketball town: the Grizzlies were going to the NBA playoffs every year and the Tigers were going to the NCAA Tournament every year. But that was four years ago. Both the Grizzlies and the Tigers have bottomed out while professional soccer has gained a foothold and substantial following in the Bluff City. In 2016, Memphis City FC began play in the NPSL. In late 2017 it was announced that Memphis would be home to a USL team beginning in 2019 leading to tons of hype and many new soccer fans. Support for the national teams has always been good in Memphis as well, with the American Outlaws packing the bars during the 2014 World Cup, the 2015 Women’s World Cup and the 2016 Copa America Centenario (and
traveling well to USMNT and USWNT games up the road in Nashville). It should also be noted that according to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, Memphis was the 10th best market for Premier League games that aired exclusively on NBC this year. Throw in the fact that Memphis is also home to some of the largest youth tournaments in the region at Mike Rose Soccer Complex where several tournaments in the last few months have had over 200 teams and needed over 100 referees. The only conclusion to draw is that Memphis is now a burgeoning soccer town.
So, without further ado here’s the best places to watch the World Cup in the Memphis area this summer.The Brass Door
152 Madison Ave
The Brass Door is the premier soccer bar in Memphis and there’s no two ways about it. It’s home to the local chapter of the American Outlaws as well as the home of the Memphis Gooners (the local Arsenal supporters group). As mentioned above the place was packed to the brim (and overflowed into the alley) during the big tournaments over the last few years. The TV setup is good, the drink selection is solid, the food is good and the people are great. The sound will most definitely be on for most games as well. Celtic Crossing
903 Cooper St
Celtic Crossing has long been a solid soccer bar for Memphians. Being in Midtown it’s pretty easy to get to from almost anywhere in the Memphis area. It is sometimes used as a backup bar for the American Outlaws. It also has hearty Irish fare.