Businesses stay open longer due to FIFA World Cup games

Team Canada's early elimination does not affect the influx of customers


By Andrea Dante

While some predicted that Canada’s elimination from the soccer FIFA World Cup group stage would dent revenues at bars, pubs and restaurants screening the matches, many in the service industry say soccer fever will keep fans coming.

Provincial Government allowed businesses to stay open longer

Last month, the B.C. government announced bars, pubs and restaurants would be temporarily allowed to extend operating hours during the World Cup in Qatar, giving fans extra time at their venue of choice to watch Canada’s men during late-night and early-morning hours. There are no change to the hours of liquor sales and service, but venues have been allowed to remain open and serve non-alcoholic beverages during the extended hours.

The Canadian men’s returned to the World Cup stage after a 36-year absence. Despite most matches taking place in the morning, many bars, pubs and restaurants have decided to open during those hours to let people watch the games.

Canada was mathematically eliminated Sunday after losing 4-1 to Croatia.


Canada’s elimination does not affect businesses 

But restaurant managers think new soccer fans will continue to flock to pubs and restaurants until the end of the competition and, they hope, beyond.

“Everybody comes and watches soccer,” said Leanne Mangan, one of the managers of The Charlatan, on Commercial Drive. “I’m not worried when it comes to the finals, which are coming up, it’s still going to have a lot of interest.

“Coming up to the future games, it’s not going to decline. It’s only going to go upwards, business.”

Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said the World Cup has had a great effect on the industry, and the elimination of Canada will not affect that. He predicts when the knockout stages begin, more people will want to see the games, regardless of who is playing.

“The whole FIFA thing is a pretty major event in itself,” said Tostenson.

Joe Peters, a Langara College arts student and soccer fan, said he likes watching soccer games occasionally and hoped Canada would continue, but his team’s elimination will not affect his interest in the World Cup.

“I am still going to watch it,” said Peters.



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