Survey: World Cup Soccer Scored Big For NYC Restaurants + Bars
The NYC Hospitality Alliance membership has always been committed to working with the City of New York to improve the quality of life. Once again there is an issue that we need to understand and rally around. The debate will go on forever as to whether the Argentina/ France match up in the 2022 World Cup final last month will be recognized as the greatest game in the history of soccer or football (depending on what part of the world you might come from!)
What is not up for debate is that not only did Argentina and Lionel Messi capture the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but the real winners in New York City were local restaurants and bars. Following the finale, the NYC Hospitality Alliance conducted a survey that found many restaurants and bars throughout the city embraced the global event, contributing to a needed uptick in sales and in-person business after a challenging start to the city’s recovery from the pandemic.
According to a survey of owners and operators of over 130 restaurants and bars across the five boroughs, an overwhelming majority of respondents viewed the 2022 FIFA World Cup in a positive light, demonstrating this during the USA National Team events and games. The analysis directly shows that during the US Men’s National Team knock-out ‘Round of 16’ loss versus the Netherlands, 55% of businesses surveyed saw an uptick in sales compared to ‘non- USA’ matches, showcasing the continued growth and excitement for the game in the United States.
After years of sacrifice and tough times, the FIFA World Cup was a needed jolt of energy for the city’s restaurants and bars. Our industry responded by embracing this worldwide phenomenon by opening their doors to people from every background and all walks of life to cheer on their favorite teams and celebrate the action. It was beautiful and exciting to watch.
Employing a learned industry-wide understanding of the diversity of backgrounds and fabric that make up New York City, many restaurants and bars were converted into “fan zones” for specific countries, embracing the neighborhoods and communities in which they are located. Nearly 75% of respondents saw an increase in revenue while featured matches were being shown live, compared to a “typical non-World Cup” day – a welcome change of pace for bars and restaurants.
Looking ahead to 2026, over 90% of the businesses surveyed expect a “positive impact” on their operations when North America hosts the FIFA World Cup, with matches expected to be played throughout the New York metro area. Additionally, more than 50% of restaurants and bars surveyed that did not show the 2022 World Cup said they expect to in 2026.
Soccer brings a whole different feeling. Watching sports with a group of other people in a restaurant or bar, even if you’re not in the stadium creates a truly unique experience. Many of our members found that the FIFA World Cup even attracted fans that may have been new to soccer but wanted to come and be a part of the experience.
New York looks forward to hosting the event once again in 2026 after a 20 plus year absence. The 1994 FIFA World Cup was at nine venues across the country including the former Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands. We look forward to building on this success for New Yorkers, as the World’s game comes to us in 2026!
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