There’s nothing quite like a major sporting event to bring people together, and there’s no place better for them to do so than in their local pub or bar. Watching a sporting event, and perhaps placing a bet on the outcome, is something best enjoyed in good company and over a drink or two, something that became blindingly obvious to publicans during last year’s football World Cup.
The impact on the economy was more than £750 million, with pubs and bookmakers being the single largest winners. Of course, in these days of online sports betting, it is not a case of customers having to choose one or the other. Many choose to sit at a prime spot at the bar to watch a game while at the same time looking up the best sports betting sites on their smartphones and checking out the different free bet offers that are available online before placing a wager or two on the outcome.
There is no football World Cup to bet on this year, of course, but there are plenty of other events that will galvanise the nation and get people out of their houses and into their local bars.
The World Cup
The word “football” was used advisedly above, as there is a world cup of a different type this year, and the UK is both host and favourite to win. It is, of course, the ICC Cricket World Cup and the action gets underway on 30 May with live coverage on Sky Sports. Pubs will be expecting big turn outs for some of the key games, for example when England play Australia on 25 June and India on 30 June.
Champions League final
There’s still one piece of unfinished business before we can draw a line under this year’s football season, and that is the Champions League final. This is the first time in more than ten years that it has been contested by two Premier League teams, so pubs will be expecting a big turnout. Kick off is at 8PM on 01 June.
There’s something about Wimbledon that gets under everyone’s skin, even those who are not usually big fans of tennis. The tournament will run over the first two weeks of July, and all eyes are on former champion Andy Murray, in the hope that he can recover from injury for one last shot at the biggest prize of them all. Even if Murray doesn’t manage the fairytale comeback, there will be plenty of other stories to capture the imagination, including the continuing dominance of the seemingly ageless Roger Federer.
The British Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One dominance is another sporting story that seems set to run and run. He and his Mercedes team have been in a different league so far this year, and interest in the sport is at an all-time high. With tickets for Silverstone costing well over £200, all but the wealthiest F1 fans will choose to watch the race on TV. It’s one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar, with qualifying on 13 July and the race itself getting underway at 2:10PM the following day.