The goal was to generate some buzz about the World Cup.
This probably isn’t what Nomad World Pub had in mind.
The popular Brady Street soccer bar, in trying to re-create an atmosphere reminiscent of World Cup host nation Brazil, transformed an adjacent parking lot into a party lot. A fun idea, right up until it became a Disney-like version of a favela, and it was officially marketed as one.
Favelas are Brazillian slums, notorious for desperate poverty and violence. And the Nomad’s favela quickly became notorious in several corners of the Internet, sparking a BuzzFeed story, angry Facebook comments and spirited Twitter debates.
Nomad owner Mike Eitel gave some no-offense-intended comments to WTMJ-AM 620 and stopped officially calling the party lot a favela, instead going with the “Nomad World Copa courtyard.”
And it certainly seems more likely that the Nomad is guilty of ignorance and insensitivity rather than the overt racism it’s been charged with. But with the World Cup kicking off tomorrow, this can’t be how Eitel envisioned the pregame ceremonies unfolding.