Top flight football teams have, increasingly, become international. Similarly, for the Olympic football, are the spectators, who are giving the terraces a League of Nations atmosphere.
Brazil’s game against New Zealand at St James’ Park in Newcastle yesterday even drew a group of visitors from Mongolia, a distance of nearly 6,000 miles, to cheer on Brazil, who won three-nil. Read more
Newcastle's Tyne Bridge ahead of the Olympic torch relay (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
While London’s tourist sector has been feeling the downside of the Olympics, Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s hotels and retailers have been enjoying a great boost to business from Olympic football at St James’ Park.
Newcastle has the benefit of hosting football at a city centre stadium, making it relatively easy for businesses to capitalise on the injection of visitors. The timing of the Olympic football matches is also fortunate, since weekend hotel bookings in July and August in Newcastle and neighbouring Gateshead normally dip.
This football-mad city has Olympic matches spread through weekdays and over two weekends, drawing huge crowds. Wednesday’s Brazil v. New Zealand match sold well over 30,000 tickets in advance and Saturday’s men’s quarter final is already a 50,000 seat sellout. Read more