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Sports

Soccer Fans Set State Record In Arlington

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Thousands of fans poured into Cowboys Stadium Saturday afternoon yelling, dancing and partying on their way to setting a Texas record.

But they weren’t wearing blue and silver; they were draped in red, white and green flags. Some wore huge sombreros, brightly decorated wrestling masks or Aztec headdresses.

They were there to see, Brazil face off against Mexico –– a friendly match that drew a record 84,519 fans, the most to ever attend a soccer event in the state.

“Its quite a big deal!,” said Edgar Ceron, a Mexico fan who watched the sold-out match from outside on a television. “It’s a big deal for Mexico. Every time we play Brazil its a good match and a good turn out.”

It’s the third time Mexico has played at Cowboys Stadium since the venue opened and the third time they’ve sold it out. Surrounding businesses like the draw. Parking lots were packed from the stadium to Interstate 30. And as fans poured out, many were ready to pour themselves a drink.

“We’re going to go celebrate,” said Daniel Martinez who wore a Mexican flag like a cape on his back. “Yeah, there might be some drinking.”

Down the street in Sherlock’s Pub, the fans were still energetic hours after Mexico closed the match with an unexpected 2-0 victory.

“Mexico! Mexico! Mexico!” a group of fans shouted loudly. Brazil fans began their own chant from a nearby booth but were drowned out.

“Its crazy out here,” said server Amanda Spurgeon.

But bringing in this kind of crazy is Arlington’s goal. First of all, these are fans that have made attending Mexico soccer games a habit.

“Yeah, we have,” said Fabiola Lopez, who sat at a booth eating with her friends. “We went to one last year.”

And whether they’re wearing Mexico green or not, they’re laying down their own green for food and drinks long after the match is over.

“They’re still out,” said Heather Causey who sat with a half dozen friends dressed in Brazil’s yellow jerseys. “They’re going to party all night! That’s how Brazilians are. I’m sure Mexico is partying harder. They won, so give them props for that.”

Which is why people who don’t even follow soccer love the difference the matches make in Arlington.

“A big difference,” Spurgeon said about the number of customers and how much they spend. “I mean, I go home happy!”

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