With England’s group stage fixtures kicking off at consumer-friendly times – Gareth Southgate’s side play Tunisia and Belgium on weekday evenings, and Panama at the weekend – and thousands fewer fans travelling to Russia than made the trip to South Africa and Brazil, pubs are set for busier trading than initially expected when the Three Lions are in action.
It is predicted that the extra number of drinks consumed during group stage matches against Tunisia, Panama and Belgium will provide a boost of up to £42m to the economy.
This is echoed by research into consumer habits by brewer and operator Greene King that revealed more than half of British adults plan to watch England games at the pub.
Greene King’s research, which surveyed almost 1,000 Brits, revealed that of those who will watch the World Cup this summer, more than half (59%) plan to watch one or more matches at the pub – 64% of men compared to 53% of women.
Respondents from the north and east of the country were most likely to visit the pub to watch the World Cup, with 69% and 61% respectively stating they would be visiting the pub to watch this summer’s feast of football, compared to 52% in both the south and west.
Phil Thomas, chief commercial officer at Greene King said: “It’s great to see that the majority of Brits expect to go to the pub to watch the England team play this summer.
“Not everyone can travel to Russia, but being in a pub with its welcoming, lively and fun atmosphere is the next best thing!
“This year we’ve invested heavily in even more bigger and better HD screens across our pubs so there’s no better place to cheer on The Three Lions than in a Greene King pub.”
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds added: “When it comes to watching England at the World Cup, only being at the game itself can compare with being in the pub.
“Millions of England fans will be going to the pub to cheer on the team with their friends, which is both great for the local pub and great for the England team. Let’s hope the England team do us proud!”