If you are a football (soccer) fan you will know the European men’s final was played yesterday at London’s Wembley Stadium – a game that unfortunately went to penalty kicks after 30 minutes of extra time.
Not a fan of PKs deciding huge games, but that’s a debate that’s raged in football for decades now. It was England vs Italy, and if you are not a follower, Italy won.
Prior to the game, a lot of England fans pre-gamed in the pubs or just on the street, and a big, very tipsy crowd gathered in Leicester Square … and proceeded to trash it.
I mention this because there is video that shows drunk-ass fans climbing up on anything high, like canopies over entries (I am reliably told it can rain in England), for reasons unknown. Fans on the ground responded by pelting those up high with cans of lager, stout, pilsner and ale, and maybe the odd fruity vodka thingie.
One of them scaled the canopy over the entry to the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square, which has a couple of large outdoor direct view LED screens on its facade – put in and managed by Peter Critchley and the folks at Beaver Group/Trison. One is pretty much right behind the lager lout, and gets hit repeatedly.
This is what the display looks like in calmer times. I had a drink with Critchley, pre-COVID, in that glass-enclosed lounge right beside the screen.
You can plan for a lot of contingencies and ensure your outdoor displays are weather rated, but I can’t imagine anyone factoring this sort of thing into site planning.
The football ecosystem in England and more broadly in the UK has done a lot to get fan hooliganism out of the game and venues, but it’s still out there.
That will be one sticky, messed up LED screen today.
Here’s another video of the overall scene on Sunday.