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Charlotte businesses score off World Cup craze (access required)

By Tara S. Ramsey Charlotte’s pubs and sports stores have scored a goal with their bottom line by targeting soccer enthusiasts during this year’s World Cup. Ri Ra Irish Pub on North Tryon Street has even opened more than four hours earlier than normal for the 7 a.m. games and has offered breakfast to those early risers. “We’ve had people in here for every game, even the games that start at 7 a.m.,” manager Natalie Friedlander said Monday. Friedlander said the support of soccer and the World Cup in particular has grown since Ri Ra opened in 1997. “Four years ago for the World Cup, the pub would be half full,” she said. “This year, it’s standing room only.”

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