Leisure industry set to score with Rugby World Cup

There are benefits to be had for the leisure and licensing industry if it makes the most of the Rugby World Cup, according to an expert.

The tournament, which kicked off this weekend, is expected to bring a significant increase in footfall to pubs televising the matches, providing a predicted boost of almost £1bn to the economy.

Malcolm Ireland, head of the Leisure and Licensing team at law firm Napthens, says it’s a prime opportunity for pub landlords to capitalise on the increase in trade.

However, he’s also reminding landlords that it’s a time during which focus on the industry will be heightened, so prior preparation is key.

Malcolm said: “International sporting events are naturally busy times for the industry, especially more so for the host nation, and this is the time to take advantage of the increase in trade and custom. For example, many landlords are considering offering deals on half-time snacks or promoting special themed drinks launched by breweries.

“On the other hand, increase in footfall can often result in an increase in visits from the authorities, such as the police or the council, so it’s imperative to ensure you’re fulfilling licensing conditions.

“Some authorities have already attempted to impose special measures, such as amended trading hours and capacity allowance, to alleviate potential issues. “Having everything in place early, and working closely with local authorities, will ensure a smooth, enjoyable and profitable period for landlords.”