The U.S. women’s national soccer team has become the subject of the biggest sports story of the summer, as they won the 2015 World Cup championship on the Fourth of July Weekend. Just five days after the team brought home the United States’ first such title in 16 years, the athletes will be honored in New York City with a ticker tape parade on Friday morning.
The parade is set to begin at 11 a.m. EDT in Manhattan, taking the 23 women down the Canyon of Heroes. The celebration will conclude with a ceremony at City Hall.
It’s extremely rare that a team will get their own parade in the nation’s largest city, but the team’s popularity has become so great that a celebration of this magnitude seems fitting. More than 25 million Americans tuned in to Team USA’s 5-2 victory over Japan in the finals, making it the largest audience for a soccer game in U.S. history.
It’s been 31 years since New York City honored a non-New York team with a parade, most recently doing so for the Olympic medal winners in 1984. Carol Heiss Jenkins, who won the 1960 Olympic gold medal for figure skating, was the last female athlete to be honored with a parade in the city, according to Alliance for Downtown New York.
New York City’s last parade honoring a sports team came in February 2012 after the New York Giants won the Super Bowl. In November 2009, the New York Yankees were honored for winning the World Series.
The U.S. team has already been honored in a smaller celebration at a rally in Los Angeles. The champons are also set to meet President Barack Obama during a visit to the White House.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the streets to celebrate the World Cup championship, but millions more have the opportunity to watch on TV. Fox Sports 1 and ESPN will broadcast the event, according to the U.S. Soccer official website. A free live stream online can be seen at NBC.com.