Will football fans be watching England on a big screen at Portman Road this summer?
- Credit: Archant
A big screen could return to Ipswich Town FC for fans to watch England's games at this summer's long-awaited European Championships.
Thousands of fans watched England's exploits at the 2018 World Cup in the club's Fanzone, which ended with Gareth Southgate's men bowing out in the semi-final to Croatia.
The 2020 tournament, being held this summer following its postponement last year due to Covid, begins on June 11, with almost all coronavirus restrictions set to be lifted ten days later.
England's first game - against Croatia - is on Sunday, June 13 at Wembley.
A spokesman for Ipswich Town FC said "plans are underway" for the return of the big screen on Portman Road's practice pitch but stressed that it was dependent on the government's roadmap out of lockdown going ahead as planned.
Big football tournaments are worth billions of pounds to the UK's economy and the lifting of almost all restrictions during this summer's Euros would provide the hospitality industry with a much-needed and welcome boost.
More than 3.7million pints were bought in Greene King pubs across the country during England's World Cup campaign in 2018, and the Bury St Edmunds-based brewer said it was "working on plans" for this year's Euros.
A Greene King spokesman said: “We’re expecting the Euros to be a big moment for the country and hospitality this summer as we look to celebrate the lifting of all restrictions on June 21 as laid out in the government’s road map.
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"No doubt there will be differences to when the World Cup was held in 2018 but we’re committed to still making Greene King pubs the place to go to watch England, Scotland and Wales compete in the tournament.
"Our pub and brewery teams are working on plans now and while at the moment we’re fully focused on reopening 442 of our pub gardens on 12 April, we hope to update more on our plans to celebrate the Euros in the coming weeks and months.”
The Swan pub in Needham Market said it would be screening the games but advised people to book in advance as they may have to limit numbers.
A spokesman for the pub said: "We will be showing all games over the Euros.
"All we can do with regard to the restrictions is keep a close eye and adapt to any changes regarding social distancing and limitations.
"Booking for England games would be advised as we may have to limit numbers."