'Showing their pride in their heritage:' Euro Cup gives boost to local businesses
WATERLOO -- Local businesses and spirits are getting a boost from the first major sport tournament to be played since the pandemic began.
One pop-up business in Kitchener is selling flags, soccer jerseys, and car decals to fans looking to support their team at UEFA Euro 2020.
Ryan Dykstra is one Netherlands fan who is eager to cheer on his team in style.
"Kind of got the royal colour, that's why they call it the house of orange," he said. "I got a car hood cover, I saw someone on my street had one so I had to get one too to represent."
The tournament that features 24 of Europe's best soccer nations competing against each other was originally scheduled for last summer, but pushed back due to the pandemic.
"It means a lot to people after being locked down for so long to have something like this going on again," said Dykstra.
Sales have been going strong at Mizar Alkurei's business over since the tournament kicked off on June 11.
"This is the time of year that everyone is showing their pride in their heritage," he said.
In Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington Pub has been seeing a boost in business from the tournament.
"We've had a really great turnout for a lot of the games, people are excited to have the soccer back on," said co-owner Desi Fatkin. "The phones are light up constantly for reservations, they all want to get the best seat."
Fans like Derek Weatherall say the tournament is an important milestone on the return to normalcy.
"It's good to get out of the house and watch it with friends, and there's a bit of atmosphere," he said. "We had a great game yesterday with Scotland and England, there was a big crowd here."
The champion of Euro 2020 will be crowned on July 11.