Many licensees, who were expecting to see their pubs flooded with revellers watching the games, say numbers are far below what they expected.
Popular Powys pub the Shoemakers Arms is among those surprised by the low turnout. Licensee Gwyneth Spadaro-Dutturi told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser: “We have had a very poor turnout, despite putting on a free curry and a free Wold Cup raffle. The only upside we can find is that now we get to see the games as well!
“Some people don’t like the chitter chatter that you get in a pub and want to watch in peace and quiet at home. We sometimes get people come to the pub who start to talk and don’t even look at the TV, which can be really annoying for other people. Also some of the matches-like Wales vs Fiji-are on when people are still in work.”
A survey from supermarket chain ASDA found that almost 50% of people are opting to entertain at home rather than heading to their local, swapping pints for dinner parties.
However, Philip Cutter from the PMA’S Best Sports Pub winner the Murderers Arms said it was too soon to declare the tournament a washout.
Cutter said: “I think that more people were watching at home for the first game because it was a Friday, but on Saturday we were packed. I think interest will grow in the knock-out rounds.”
Pubs in Gloucester have complained that customers were being ‘herded’ away from pubs in the area and into ‘Fanzones’, a series of outdoor screens set up around the city.