While the competition presents lots of opportunities for licensees – which is very welcome - there are some potential pitfalls that premises need to be aware of to ensure a safe and enforcement-free tournament.
The Six Nations fixtures will kick off on Saturday 4 February at 2.15pm, with a game between Wales v Ireland. You can review the full list of fixtures and when games kick off for full details, here. It is expected to be viewed millions across the globe with thousands flocking to the pubs to view the tournament and possibly enjoy a Guinness or two.
Given the tournament is only one weekend away, it is vital licensees start looking at what they are doing during the tournament now and not leave it too late. Here are some points to bear in mind:
- It’s not unrealistic to think some rugby fans will be entering the pub early with intentions of acquiring the best seat in the house and not leaving until late in the evening. To that end, licensees really need to look at training their teams to handle customers who may be drinking more than usual, looking particularly at issues of vulnerability and conflict management. Risk-assessing particular high-risk games is important too.
- Licensees also need to check the permissions on their licence and any restrictive conditions, particularly in regard to any music or external areas which may be utilised. If necessary, a temporary event notice (TEN) can be issued.
- The police often receive a flood of TENs from licensees closer to the date, so it may be beneficial to speak with your local licensing authority about what is currently permitted on your premises licence.
- Be aware the police sometimes send letters or correspondence asking for additional measures to be adhered to during rugby matches. Typical measures are polycarbonate glasses only or the use of door staff. While everyone wants a safe and successful tournament, if any of these are problematic then first contact the police to discuss or, if necessary, take legal advice. While this is unlikely for rugby matches it is important to respond promptly.
In addition to these key points, operators also need to think about how the games may impact their existing trade.
Operators are no strangers to operating their business in outside areas, but if they are planning to show games outside (even in the cold), it’s vital they consider the impact of doing so. Issues to focus on would include the increase in noise generated by rugby fans and the potential for complaints from residents, along with ensuring that high-capacity gatherings operate within fire and safety regulations. Finally, make sure you have sufficient staff to monitor outside areas.