Coming off the back of the Rugby Union World Cup and the AFL Grand Final, pubs are thanking the sporting gods for the continued scheduling of some blockbuster sporting events – with this Sunday bringing a double-header of UFC 243 in Melbourne, and the NRL Grand Final.

Kicking off the action on Sunday 6 October is UFC 243, with Australia’s own middleweight world champion Rob Whittaker and the interim world champ from across the ditch, Israel Adesanya. With the bout taking place in Melbourne, the fight for the title is being billed as the biggest combat sport event in Australian history. League fans will then be gearing up for the Grand Final, where the Canberra Raiders will be taking on the Sydney Roosters.

Pubs across the country are getting ready for an influx of sports fanatics this weekend. In Melbourne, pubs are pulling out all the stops for this local UFC event.

“Imperial is the home of sport in Melbourne and we love getting around UFC every month. We’ll be screening the big fight this Sunday across all three floors live and loud, including our rooftop jumbo-tron. We’re also offering any fans heading to Marvel stadium to catch all the action in person a free Furphy pre- or post the match. All they need to do is show their ticket to redeem,” said venue manger Lee Brearley.

At the nearby Crafty Squire, patrons will also be shouted a beer for the bout.

“The team at Crafty are pumped to see UFC back in Melbourne this Sunday. We’re only a short tram ride down Collins or Bourke to Marvel Stadium and will be offering a free pint of selected James Squire brew to any ticket holders via the Aus Venue Co App. For anyone not lucky enough to have nabbed a ticket, we’ll be screening all the action live and loud from 1pm,” stated venue manager Rachel Vavricek.

Later in the night, pubs will switch gears to celebrate one of Australia’s most popular footy codes. This is the first Grand Final the Canberra Raiders have reached in 25 years, and the local pub The Duxton is getting right behind the team.

“Our sponsorship with the Raiders means we have been able to offer fans a meal deal, ticket and return bus to the home games and this has really seen the Duxton become the go-to venue to watch their away games too,” says group operations director, David Quinn.

“The take-up we have seen for the Grand Final has been exciting to see. The Duxton will definitely be the place to watch the game for the diehard fans that won’t make it up to Homebush, with the venue anticipated to reach capacity a few hours before kickoff.”

The Duxton was also able to secure extended trading hours for the night, with the assistance of the ACT branch of the AHA, and the ACT Government.

Up in Sydney, the Coogee Bay Hotel – a finalist for Best Sport Venue at the 2019 ALIAS – is preparing for an enormous day of activations. It’s massive indoor space Selina’s will host UFC 243, while more than 1000 people are expected to settle into the beer garden for the NRL.

“The kind of conditions we have leading into this long weekend couldn’t be better,” said Larissa O’Connor, GM marketing and communications at C!NC Hotels.

“We’re welcoming the start of our peak trading period with the launch of our new spring-summer menu and a jammed-packed calendar of major sport. These combined are signalling good times ahead for Coogee Bay Hotel.”

Pre-coverage of UFC starts at 9:30am AEST on ESPN, before switching to Main Event at 1pm. The NRL Grand Final will be broadcast on Channel 9, with coverage to start at 6:30pm AEST, and kick-off at 7:30pm.

Call Foxtel Business on 1300 138 898 to order UFC 243 for your venue or click here to receive a call back.

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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