Horn’s Rocky-style win a knockout for venues
By Andy Young
Hotels around the country that elected to show Sunday’s epic battle between Australia’s Jeff Horn and World Champion Manny Pacquiao enjoyed a boost in Sunday trade as a result.
It proved to be a huge day for Australian boxing with many describing Horn’s unexpected win as being like a modern day Rocky becoming real life.
Alistair Flower of the Settlers Inn in Port Macquarie said the crowds and revenue he had on Sunday justified the decision to buy the pay-per-view (PPV) fight.
“There’s always a sense of pride, support and further interest when an Australian is fighting even with The Pac Man being a sentimental favourite of many boxing supporters. The fight lasting the distance gave that extra perception of value,” Flower told TheShout.
"Crowds on the day were up circa 300 per cent to a normal Sunday trade and the timing of the main fight really supported our food and bistro sales for the day. Having diversity in our offerings at Settlers meant that many families came to the venue, with not necessarily all watching the fight.”
At the Pig ‘N’ Whistle Riverside in Brisbane, there was an extra buzz as a result of being in the city that hosted the bout.
Venue Manager Jack Nicholson told TheShout: "Seven Pig ‘N’ Whistle venues showed the fight and had really strong numbers in to watch it. On Sunday morning, there was a certain buzz that could be felt everywhere in the city, with people gathering at open cafes and restaurants to enjoy breakfast before making their way to Suncorp or nearby pubs to watch the fight. Following Jeff Horn’s triumph, the city Pig ‘N’ Whistles venues in particular were inundated with fans celebrating. Patron numbers and figures were similar to that of a Friday night.
"For Pig ‘N’ Whistle Riverside, it was the biggest crowd for boxing since Mayweather v Pacquiao. Pig ‘N’ Whistle Riverside is looking forward to the Mayweather v McGregor fight at the end of August which will attract a similar number of patrons."
It was a similar story in Sydney, with Public House Management Group saying that its venue, The Royal Hotel in Paddington, enjoyed a 73 per cent increase in revenue for its day trade on Sunday.
Fox Sports Venues national pay-per-view manager, Japhy Duldig, told TheShout that this kind of reaction shows there is nothing quite like your local venue to watch live sports and PPV in particular.
"PPV is a proven winner in driving revenue and attendances. You could tell on Sunday those venues that didn't have the fight as they were empty while the venues that took the fight were full,” Duldig said.
This weekend sees another opportunity for Australia to celebrate a possible sporting champion when Rob Whittaker takes on Cuba’s Yoel Romero in an Interim Middleweight Championship bout at UFC 213 on Sunday. Any venues still interested in showing that event should call 1300 301 415.