Around a third of British football fans plan to watch the forthcoming European Championships in pubs or bars—and CGA Peach stats from previous big sporting occasions indicates the tournament could give operators a major lift.

Figures from the latest edition of the Greene King Leisure Tracker show that 35% intend to watch at least one match in a pub or bar—more than will do so at a friend or family’s home (25%). Among those aged 18 to 24, the figure rises to three in five (60%).

Four in five (79%) of those surveyed by Greene King said atmosphere was an important factor in their plans to watch a game in a pub. Nearly as many (55%) rated the variety and cost of drinks as important when choosing their pub.

Research from CGA Peach confirms the scale of opportunity that pubs have around big tournaments. It found that nearly one in five (19%) people went out to watch one of last autumn’s Rugby World Cup matches in a pub or bar, with the Coffer Peach Business Tracker indicating that pubs’ like for like sales were 9% up in the first week of October during the World Cup. CGA’s Trading Index showed average drinks takings at bars on Saturdays when England played key matches were up by more than £1,000 against the average Saturday.

Greene King marketing director Fiona Gunn said: “With such a large proportion of the British population planning to enjoy games in a pub alongside friends, family or colleagues, it is clear that it remains a well-established social venue for Brits. The importance of the pub’s atmosphere highlights that the character of the pub remains at the forefront of consumers’ minds when deciding where they will watch the upcoming games.”

Greene King’s Leisure Tracker also found that British households spent an average of £206 on out of home leisure in April, a 5% drop on the previous month, and a 4% decline on the same month last year. Spend on eating out increased by 2%—a figure that chimes with recent CGA Peach data indicating tough market conditions for out of home eating and drinking operators at the moment.


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