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Will London Fan Zones Devolve into Violence and Vandalism? Londoners Worry Ahead of Four-Day Championship League Festival

Many are worried about the Four-Day Championship League Festival

Wembley London

 

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has announced that it will host an extravagant four-day, family-friendly festival from May 30th to June 2nd to celebrate the 2024 Champion’s League Final at Wembley Stadium on June 1st. However, it’s faced a lot of pushback from locals, and many are worried about the fallout of such an event.

Let’s take a look at why.

London’s Four-Day Champions Festival

Excited to hold the Championship Final for the 8th time, London has confirmed a four-day family festival to celebrate the showdown between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid for the prestigious Champion’s Cup. The GLA promises a variety of activities and displays to take part in across the festival, including an inflatable Champions League trophy at Potters Fields Park, penalty shootout challenges and a five-a-side match featuring Champion’s League royalty (although they’ve yet to confirm who that will be). 

The festival will take place in various areas, dubbed fan zones, around Central London: Trafalgar Square, Regent Street, Strand Aldwych and Hyde Park.

Arising Concerns for the Football Crowds

So why are people growing concerned about this supposedly family-oriented festival?

Football audiences are notoriously riotous, with blood running high across the match and antagonism all but guaranteed between supporters. Locals in these areas of London have expressed concern about the effect all these people will have on their homes. Specific worries include vandalism, public urination and riots. And considering the mess that occurred during the disastrous 2020 Euros, there’s plenty of evidence that something like this could happen again. 

This is made even worse by the knowledge that confirmation of this event comes right off the back of the GLA’s move to double the number of events which allow alcohol consumption in Trafalgar Square per year. With alcohol being passed around, disorderly and disruptive behaviour is all but guaranteed.

Embankment Rejection

The GLA has already faced a few roadblocks on the way to announcing this event. The original plans included an additional fan zone to host a screening of the Final on the Victoria Embankment. Up to 30,000 people could spectate the event together and enjoy live entertainment and food as they watch. 

But locals swiftly shut down this idea, rightfully pointing out how fundamentally flawed it was. The area isn’t well suited to host large crowds and is a naturally busy thoroughfare even on the best days — let alone during a massive sporting event. Westminster City Council rejected the GLA’s request for a pedestrianised fan zone on the Embankment, leaving the festival without a match screening.

Excitement and Apprehension for June 1st

There’s no doubt everyone’s excited for the Championship Final, but time will only tell how disastrous or wonderful the event will be. Either way, London is sure to be chock-a-block over the final weekend of May, and we recommend that all people planning to visit central London during this time plan ahead and be careful amongst all the fun. 

You can consult the MET police guidelines for safety suggestions and cautions during the event and London.gov for more information if you’re a local.

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Lauren Lister

Lauren Lister is an expert in the ever-evolving world of online sports betting and casinos. With a keen eye for the latest trends and insights, Lauren dives deep into the industry, analyzing games, bonuses, and strategies. Whether you're a seasoned gambler or just starting out, Lauren's engaging writing style keeps you informed and entertained.

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