Water usage, specifically in the form of toilet flushes at halftime during the World Cup, was recently used to measure the rising popularity of soccer in Los Angeles, California.
A reading by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from the Franklin Canyon Reservoir during Thursday’s World Cup game between the United States and Germany reported a small surge in toilet flushes by Angelenos during the game’s half-time, according to LA Weekly. The term “halftime flush” was used to describe the sudden increase in bathroom usage in the region.
Viewers were clearly so enthralled by the game, they waited earnestly until halftime to use the loo to ensure that no moment of the competition would be missed. Water usage spiked again as the masses flocked to restrooms once more at the conclusion of the game, which Germany won in a final score of 1-0. The U.S. still advanced.
The increased water usage during Thursday’s game is an indicator of the rising popularity of soccer in Los Angeles. It is reportedly the first time that viewers in the greater L.A. region have been interested enough in the World Cup games to make such a dent — however menial — in the city’s water usage.
The soccer spikes were dwarfed by the peaks in water usage that occur between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., the most popular wake-up times in L.A. But the indicators of soccer’s growing favor in L.A. are there.
Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the nation, with more than 10 million residents, due in great part to an influx of immigrants (both legal and illegal) in the region, particularly from Latin American countries.
Soccer is hugely popular in the world’s Latin American regions — Mexico especially — which lends itself to its growing popularity in California, the nation’s most populous state, and Los Angeles in particular. Mexicans make up the largest ethnic group of Latinos in Los Angeles County. According to an estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, there are 4.7 million Hispanics living in L.A. County. Roughly 40% of that population is comprised of Mexicans who live in Los Angeles.
Last week, excited Mexico fans took to the streets of L.A. in an “out of control,” raucous World Cup celebration of Mexico’s victory over Croatia in a 3-1 win. “Why not, we have to celebrate. It’s in our blood, it’s for Mexico, it’s for our parents,” said business owner Citlalli Cruz, who is also Mexican. “I’m Mexican, I’m proud of my country,” she said.