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Travelers take in World Cup game at Tampa airport terminal

Fans and travelers react to a missed opportunity for the United States while watching the team’s World Cup match against Belgium in the main terminal of Tampa International Airport on Tuesday.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Fans and travelers react to a missed opportunity for the United States while watching the team’s World Cup match against Belgium in the main terminal of Tampa International Airport on Tuesday.

TAMPA — Timothy Loy thought he'd miss much of the USA vs. Belgium World Cup game. When his 5:55 p.m. flight to Vermont was delayed Tuesday, it wasn't the worst luck.

"I thought I was going to miss the last 20 minutes," he said.

Loy, 37, of Sarasota, stopped with his sons at a big LED screen above the C Gate in the Tampa International Airport main terminal to watch the game before their new 8:05 p.m. flight.

People have migrated to sports bars for the games. Some companies have had watch parties during the work day for employees.

Last week, the airport decided to broadcast a game on the three new LED screens it installed in the main terminal six months ago. It drew a big crowd, so the airport set it up again Tuesday, giving travelers and employees a way to watch the games besides going to bars past security checkpoints.

When they got to the terminal, Loy's son Jameson, 7, plopped to the ground with wide eyes at his dad's feet. His brothers laughed and wrestled behind them as he and Loy watched the game.

Passengers carrying bags walked a little slower by the screen to check the score. Spectators filled folding chairs set up in front. They cheered and groaned together, pausing between plays to check boarding passes.

Nancy Ferace, 49, was in town from Connecticut for a girls' weekend. Her ride back to the airport apologized for dropping her off early for her 7:40 p.m. flight, she said.

"I'll go watch the game, I'm good with that," she said. "We listened to it on the radio all the way up here."

Contact Keeley Sheehan at ksheehan@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3368. Follow @keeleymsheehan.

Travelers take in World Cup game at Tampa airport terminal 07/01/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 10:55pm]
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