More than a billion people are expected to watch the World Cup final on July 9. That’s almost one out of every six people on Earth and 10 times more people that watch the Super Bowl. England is bracing for a loss in business productivity during the monthlong World Cup, which begins Friday in Germany. In 2002, the country’s businesses lost an estimated $2.6 billion because 4 million people showed up late for work. Many businesses are installing TVs in hopes of keeping their employees on the clock. Togo declared a national holiday when its team qualified for the first time, and the Singapore Stock Exchange is bracing for a fall in share price comparable to the 7.1 percent in 2002. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2From Andorra to Zimbabwe, from Australia to Austria, the 32-team World Cup kicking off in Munich on Friday will turn the planet into one giant soccer ball for six weeks. Well, almost the entire planet. “The what?” asked Michelle Hughes, manager of the Pasadena Yard House restaurant and bar when reminded the World Cup begins its monthlong run on Friday. “Aren’t they playing already? If it’s on after 11:30 \, then we’ll show it.” Hughes’ response was mirrored locally by management at most mainstream sports bars and restaurants that regularly show NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball games. But others are looking to cash in, even though early-round games begin as early as 6 a.m. PDT and the final match of the day starts at noon. Moose McGillycuddy’s in Pasadena is finalizing plans to open its doors early for World Cup matches that begin at 9 a.m. Even football-crazed establishments like Hooters in West Covina are hoping to take advantage of the World Cup’s popularity. Hooters recently showed the UEFA Champions League final between Barcelona and Arsenal. More than 60 people watched it on a weekday morning, according to general manager Carlos Atienza. Atienza said Hooters plans to open early for the World Cup, showing the 9 a.m. and noon matches. “I think if you show it, and you get the word out, there are enough soccer fans that want to enjoy the games with other soccer fans,” said Atienza. “We’re looking forward to the game on Sunday when Mexico plays Iran \. We’re hoping we get good crowds for all the Mexico and U.S. games.” For David Farnworth, owner of Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena, no time is too early for soccer. Widely known as the best place in the San Gabriel Valley to watch live soccer games from Europe and around the world, Lucky Baldwin’s will televise all 64 World Cup matches. It is a haven for crazed soccer fanatics. During the English Premiership season, diehard fans often show up as early as 4 a.m. The place is frequently filled to capacity for matches that pit Liverpool against Manchester United. “You can’t drink beer because it’s so early in the morning, but we give out free cups of coffee for those who want to join us,” said Farnworth. “You can watch all the \ games on television \, but for the big games, English soccer fans and others who live and breathe soccer like to watch a game with a crowd, just like they’re back at home. So they come here.” Lucky Baldwin’s will kick off its soccer festivities with the opener on Friday between Costa Rica and host Germany (9 a.m.). On Saturday morning, expect the coffee to be brewing early when England faces Paraguay at 6 a.m. “We expect that it’s going to be packed,” said Farnworth. “We will have to open our outside patio to accommodate everyone. But the more the merrier. This doesn’t happen very often.” Farnworth, who grew up in the Lake District in Northern England and is a Liverpool supporter, has owned Lucky Baldwin’s for 10 years. “I was lucky enough to watch England win the 1966 World Cup,” said Farnworth. “We have a bunch of young fans who have never seen England win anything. I would love to see them win it for them.” And if England loses … “There is often violence that comes with frustration, but we don’t have those type of fans,” said Farnworth. “Win or lose, we’re either going to have a beer to celebrate or commiserate it.” Pete Martinez, who owns Artie’s Pizza in West Covina, was born in Mexico City and is an avid Club America supporter. Though he owns an Italian restaurant, Martinez often shows Mexican First Division games at Artie’s. Martinez says for the World Cup, he will open early for the 9 a.m. matches and have his television in the kitchen fine-tuned. “We’ll have coffee or whatever you want,” said Martinez. “The last World Cup \ was too early to show games. “You’re going to see a lot more people following it \ this time, because most people will wake up at 6 to watch the early games at home, then maybe go to a restaurant to have breakfast or lunch to watch the others.” Those who want to feel the pulse of a plaza in Mexico City find a bar that regularly shows Mexican League games, like El Guapo Restaurant on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. The Southwestern-style restaurant has more than 20 television sets and caters to Mexican First Division Soccer and European club games on Fox Sports World. “Our \ fans love to get here early, have breakfast and watch the games,” said El Guapo chef Silvestra Sanchez. “We’re usually packed on the weekends, and with Mexico playing on Sunday, you better get here early.” TV numbers in the U.S. are somewhat encouraging. According to ESPN, 5.3 million watched the U.S.-Germany quarterfinal match and 3 million watched the U.S.-Mexico match, which began at 2:30 a.m. EDT. FIFA puts the worldwide TV viewership for the 2002 final at 1.1 billion. “The World Cup is unlike any other sporting event in the world,” said Pasadena High and Pasadena City College soccer coach Cherif Zein, who left Wednesday for Germany to attend his sixth World Cup. “I save every penny I have for this. I won’t sleep and I don’t care, because this is like heaven for me.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811 Ext. 4485160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!