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English pubs push for late closing
February 5th, 2014 2:50PM
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TAGS:  england, soccer business, television, world cup 2014


[WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN] How much is one game at the World Cup worth for English pub business? The British Beer and Pub Association says extending closing time on the night of the June 14 England-Italy could be worth more than $30 million in food and beverage sales.

The pub industry is lobbying to extend closing time from Saturday 11 p.m. until  Sunday 1 a.m., and it has picked up a big supporter: David Cameron, the British Prime Minister who overruled the Home Office, which had refused a request for an extension of licensing times across the country. It suggested pubs could apply individually to local authorities for a license extension.

"This would make for the most fantastic news for thousands of publicans and millions of football fans," British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said it was a commonsense decision. " I am delighted that the prime minister has intervened."

The England-Italy kickoff time was pushed back to avoid early kickoffs in the hottest and most humid weather conditions, such as those in Manaus, site of the game. (The USA-Portugal kickoff in Manaus was also pushed back to 6 p.m. ET -- a very favorable time for U.S. broadcasters.)

England's other group games, as well any potential knockout matches, will kick off at 9 p.m. UK time or earlier. The only possible crisis for publicans will come if there is overtime for games that kick off 9 p.m.

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