By Annette Shailer

The world is set to shine a collective spotlight on Johannesburg's Soccer City, a 94,700-seat sporting palace, and the stage for tonight’s first 2010 FIFA World Cup match between host nation South Africa and Mexico.

Sydney’s Darling Harbour is expecting an influx of more than a million people throughout the month-long tournament as it hosts one of six official FIFA World Cup Fan Fest sites outside South Africa.

The world’s biggest sporting event is set to help boost pub and bar sales with many venues using the theme to showcase some innovative promotions.

Sydney pub group Merivale is screening selected games at five of its venues – The Angel Hotel, The Royal George, Slip Inn, The Grand Hotel and Wynyard Hotel.

Certain Merivale venues will be offering pints at schooner prices and other food and drink offers, while The Angel Hotel will be screening the games in 3D.

Time Out has partnered with Helm Bar, which overlooks the FanFest site and offers Gold Members the full VIP treatment.

The Time Out World Cup Bar kicks off tonight with the Opening Ceremony followed by South Africa taking on Mexico.

With eight plasma TVs and one big-screen showing all the World Cup matches in high-definition, Helm Bar is set to score some goals during the World Cup festivities

Time Out Sydney's FIFA World Cup 2010 coverage is presented in association with Canadian Club.

Fan Fest in Darling Harbour will feature live entertainment and four big screens, three on floating stages in Cockle Bay and one in Tumbalong Park, giving football fans around the clock coverage of the FIFA World Cup from tonight until July 12.

To let us know what your venue is doing for the FIFA World Cup festivities, click here.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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