Gloucester pubs claim rugby fans being herded away from pubs to 'fanzones'

By Oli Gross

- Last updated on GMT

Gloucester pubs claim rugby fans being herded away from pubs to 'fanzones'

Related tags Rugby world cup

LVA claims fans are being herded away.

Pubs in Gloucester expecting to be flooded with sports fans during the Rugby World Cup have been left disappointed amid claims potential customers are being “herded” away from venues during the tournament.

The local licensed victuallers association (LVA) trade protection body estimates losses of £250,000 for city centre pubs in the first weekend alone, taking into account pre-tournament investments.

Mary Bryon is licensee of the Kingsholm Inn, next to the city’s Kingsholm Stadium — which hosted Tonga vs Georgia on the tournament’s first weekend.

She told the PMA: “It’s definitely a problem. The first weekend was terrible.”

The council has set up a Fanzone featuring big screens — a requirement for all host cities.

“Normally when the rugby is on we’re full of supporters in to watch it. We only had six people in on Friday, and Saturday was bad as well.

“They have marshals outside the stadium herding people away from the pubs and into the Fanzone,” Bryon maintained.

She said the pub had invested in extra bars, staff and decorations. “There’s a brilliant atmosphere around, so it’s disappointing not to have people in. We’ve spent a lot of money preparing.”

A spokesman for Gloucester LVA said: “While we appreciate Gloucester being a host city for the Rugby World Cup, we have found big business and sponsors have benefited at the expense of local business.”

Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, said the tournament had brought “huge” levels of revenue to the city.

“We have been working closely with the LVA over recent months in the build up to the Rugby World Cup, and will continue to do so, but we need to make sure the benefits of being a host are felt throughout the city,” he added.

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