With the World Cup set to begin in the early hours of tomorrow morning, pubs across Australia are looking to capitalise on football fever.

While some of this year’s World Cup matches are scheduled to take place after most pubs finish trading, many venues are looking to make the most of the games slotted between 8pm and midnight, while other venues have been granted extended trading hours for the tournament. Close to 50 venues across New South Wales and Victoria will be showing all 64 games of the four-yearly event.

Football fever is spreading across the country, with Australian Venue Co set to broadcast the tournament at many of its venues, including The Crafty Squire and The Imperial in Melbourne; Cargo in Sydney; The Guildford Hotel in Perth; Buffalo Bar in Brisbane; and Monsoons and Shennanigans in Darwin.

“We expect the 2018 World Cup to be a spectacular month of events across our venues. So many of our loyal patrons are sports fans, and the World Cup provides us with an invaluable opportunity to give them an experience they will remember come Qatar 2022. It has always been our mission to go above and beyond for our customers and the World Cup will be no exception,” stated CEO Paul Waterson.

In South Australia, all of the RDJones Group venues will be broadcasting the Australian matches – which fortunately fall within normal trading hours – but the Woodcroft Hotel has been chosen by World Cup sponsor Budweiser as one of 20 premier venues to partner with across Australia. Operations director Luke Donaldson said that the local community was very excited for the World Cup, and the group is prepared accordingly.

“Our venues are expecting to be very busy, especially in the suburbs where European families make up the majority of the population. Even venues who aren’t predominantly known for showcasing sporting events are engaged for this major sporting event which occurs only every four years.”

In Perth, where more games will be available within normal trading hours, plenty of venues are gearing up for the next four weeks, including the Inglewood Inn – which recently reached capacity for the Champions League final.

Broadcast capabilities

While the free-to-air channel SBS will be showing 25 games – including all of the Socceroo games – the only way to watch all 64 games is through an Optus Sport subscription, or to visit a venue with a subscription to Sky Racing through Tabcorp. As such, venues are expected to see an influx of patrons during the tournament.

“Given 39 games can only be seen via Sky Channel (or Optus subscription) we believe there will be strong visitation [to pubs] as a result,” stated Fraser Mexted, senior manager – partner delivery at Tabcorp.

Across Victoria, New South Wales, the ACT and to some extent in Queensland, Tabcorp is collaborating with over 1700 partner venues on World Cup activations that include POS material, in-venue competitions and virtual reality soccer shoot-out competitions.

While the entire tournament is expected to increase venue patronage, it is the Socceroos matches that are expected to fill venues to capacity. Australia’s first match – against France – will be kick off this Saturday at 8pm.

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