Organizers for the Rugby World Cup which is coming to Japan in 2019 have warned the country that they’d better have enough beer to accommodate the enormous influx of beer-swilling rugby fans who will be attending.
The sport, which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century is renowned for the passion of its fans, a passion fueled by large-scale beer consumption as well by the game itself.
The tournament, which runs from Sep. 20 to Nov. 2, is an important moment for the country, Japan happens to be Asia’s rugby powerhouse (who knew?), and it’s the first time that the Rugby World Cup, which is held every four years, will be hosted in the region.
The Rugby World Cup presentation is seen as just the beginning of Japan’s quest to become a major power in tourism. The government hopes to attract more than 40 million annual foreign visitors to Japan for the 2020 Olympics.
But as Japan is in the process of discovering, rugby fans are a different breed, and they come with their own special requirements…the most important requirement being BEER.
Based on numbers from the last Rugby World Cup held in England in 2015, millions of liters of beer were consumed.
And if you’re thinking that soccer fans drink a lot of beer…think again
“A spectator typically drinks one glass of draft beer during a soccer match, but rugby watchers consume four to six glasses per person,” a venue official explained to the Asahi Shimbun “One customer even bought 24 cans of beer.”
The tournament’s organizing committee has been holding briefing sessions in some of Japan’s host cities to educate local officials about rugby’s drinking culture noting that “English and Irish fans drink the most”
And according to Quartz, local officials, restaurant, bar and retail outlets are being encouraged to prepare for the impending beer-crazed masses…
“Restaurant owners were told to have at least four to five times more beer and wine stocked than normal, and that in the case that they see drunk fans stripping and getting naked, they should warn them that such actions are illegal before calling the police.”
In 2018, Russia experienced temporary beer shortages at the FIFA World Cup…and the Rugby World Cup doesn’t want to see something like that happen this year in Japan.