Traders in Mansfield are hoping for a boom in business when they open late on Saturday night for England’s first World Cup game.
Pubs have been busy preparing for the games by festooning their big screens with flags and putting on patriotic special offers.
But police warn they will be putting on extra patrols to cope with expected increases in alcohol-related crime.
Helen Trainor, shift manager at The Widow Frost, on Leeming Street, said: “We are hoping to get a big crowd, with lots of fun and a good atmosphere. We will be running scratch cards games throughout the World Cup. Half of the proceeds will go as prizes and half will go to the CLIC Sergeant charity. The staff are all getting dressed up on Saturday so we’ll have our hair in pigtails, football shirts and facepainting.”
Tim O’Flaherty, shift manager at The Stag and Pheasant on Clumber Street, said: “We’re expecting quite a few people as we have one of the biggest screens in Mansfield - it’s about 15ft wide. We’re normally open until about 3am on Saturday anyway. The only difference is we’ll be turning off the music when the football is on.”
Nottinghamshire Police hope to reduce drink-related violence during what is expected to be a period of high emotion and increased alcohol consumption. The force sees incidents of violence increase in summer months: from 1,196 incidents in April last year to 1,418 in July. By November they had fallen to 1,160.
Sarah Nelson, from Mansfield Business Improvement District (BID), said: “We know those who are showing matches will have an upturn in trade, but other venues too might take advantage of the non-football fans wanting to get away from the games.
“The timing of England matches may also be a factor in trade too. The BID continues to work closely with its partners to ensure the the town centre is a safe place for people interested in football or not.”
Once England play Italy, the team will have Uruguay to contend with five days later in Sao Paulo. England will kick off on Thursday June 19th at the more sociable time of 8pm. They face Costa Rica on Tuesday June 24th at 5pm.
Let us know where you will be watching. Tell us what scores you’re predicting - and what you think of England’s performance afterwards.