World Cup countdown: Will pub licensing hours be extended?

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

The Government's u-turn on World Cup licensing has resulted in the consultation ahead of the football tournament this summer
The Government's u-turn on World Cup licensing has resulted in the consultation ahead of the football tournament this summer
With the Home Office’s consultation on extended licensing hours for the 2014 World Cup ending this week, managed pub and bar operator TCG is looking to make the most of the summer tournament, with a host of marketing activity to drive footfall from international fans.

The Government’s snap consultation,​ which closed on Wednesday, explored whether or not UK pubs should be able to stay open and sell alcohol during all England matches with a schedule kick-off time of 8pm or later.

Licensees and pub groups across the country got involved with the online consultation; pledging their support for the maximum four-hour extension after kick-off. One of those groups, TCG, believes the World Cup has the potential to deliver a ‘major boost’ to business, especially if the licensing hours are extended.

“Whatever happens, the World Cup has the potential to deliver a major boost to the pub trade this summer,” said TCG’s chief operating officer Nigel Wright. “Hopefully, the Home Office will see sense and allow all pubs to open for extended hours during England’s games and other key matches.”

World Cup countdown

The pub company is promoting June’s tournament as a ‘Festival of Football’, with its venues showing as many matches as possible. TCG has created POS material which echoes classic Latin American football posters, to capture the global spirit of the Beautiful Game.  

World-Cup-2014-pubs

World Cup countdown clocks feature on the websites of all TCG pubs which, when clicked on, give the details of games being shown at their chosen TCG venue.

“Our approach does also mean, of course, that in the very unlikely event that England fail to go all the way in Brazil, we will still be geared up to ensure that fans can enjoy every kick of the tournament with us.”

“We want to create a fun, friendly atmosphere where supporters of every team in the tournament can enjoy one of the world’s greatest sporting events.

The same theme has been used for countdown clocks on the websites of TCG pubs and bars showing the tournament, which second-by-second are already ticking down the days until the opening game on June 12, which sees hosts Brazil play Croatia.

By clicking on the clocks, soccer enthusiasts will be given details of games being shown at their chosen TCG venue, and encouraged to enjoy every stop on the ‘Road to Rio’ right through to the final on July 13.

Consultation support

But, the question mark over whether or not those TCG venues will be able to stay open and serve alcohol during the matches remains. The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has been urging the Government to allow the maximum four-hours trading time after kick-off.

Brigid Simmonds, the BBPA’s chief executive, said: “If we don’t get a positive decision from the Government we will end up with the hassle and cost of tens of thousands of temporary events notices, and no guarantee of extra hours.

“I hope people will support our call for four-hours after kick off. It is not in the interest of the police and local authorities that everyone leaves venues the second a game finishes. Some extra-time, allowing for a well-managed and smooth dispersal, will be very helpful for everyone.”

The Government's World Cup licensing hours consultation is below.

Related news

Show more