Although England have missed out on the chance to retain their Six Nations crown, Ireland sealing a grand slam with a win on English soil this weekend could mean big business for British pubs, according to Worldpay.
With London boasting the largest Irish population outside of the Emerald Isle and a huge contingent of Irish fans expected to travel to the final fixture of this year’s Six Nations, businesses in the capital could boom this weekend as St Patrick's day celebrations coincide with the conclusion of the tournament.
The forecast comes after Worldpay transaction data revealed that England’s match with Wales saw pubs rake in £3.5m during the match – with sites across the UK 25% busier than on a usual weekend.
Stroud in Gloucestershire was home to the UK’s most fervent fans, with afternoon takings in pubs across the city surging by 488%, while Fulham pubs hosted the capital’s biggest boozers – with sales 126% higher in pubs compared to a usual weekend.
Pubs in Twickenham, the home of England’s national rugby team, were also 83% busier during the day of England’s match with Wales.
'Fitting' Six Nations conclusion
Commenting on the data, Worldpay executive vice-president, UK and Europe, Steve Newton said: “The Six Nations is always a busy period for pub owners, and for some businesses, the tournament can be more important than Christmas.
“Although England fans will be disappointed that this was not our year, there is something quite fitting about Ireland going for grand slam glory on Paddy’s Day, and we could see a ‘double bonus’ effect which contributes to an extraordinary evening of celebrations.”
“The enormous boost to business shows that if bar staff across the country are ready to manage the masses, they can truly benefit from big sporting occasions and events. Arming staff with mobile point-of-sale devices to offer table service for large groups on match days and ensuring that terminals are contactless enabled can help reduce the pressure on the bar at peak times.”