Czechs spent half a billion crowns during ice hockey championship


Some 30,000 ice hockey fans gathered in Prague's Old Town Square on Monday afternoon to welcome home the Czech national team. Monday was a day of celebration for many Czechs after the country's ice hockey team won the Ice Hockey World Championship in Vienna on Sunday again after four years.

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK But the players themselves and their fans are not the only ones who have a reason to rejoice these days. Czechs spent an estimated half a billion crowns (22 million dollars) as a direct result of the country's successes at the championships.

Hectolitres of beer were drunk in pubs, and pub owners also recorded a greater demand for champagne. According to them, the number of people who prefer watching the games in pubs and sport bars is on the increase, which may be a result of better technical equipment. Also, many more women came to watch the matches in pubs and bars this year.

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK Retailers, too, have reason to celebrate. Electronics retail chains reported a 400 percent growth in the sales of TV sets during the championship. Especially popular were large plasma TVs. The sales of bottled beer and various snacks went up, too, as well as the sales of ice hockey outfits and souvenirs. Mobile phone operators report a 300-percent increase in the number of SMS text messages sent on the days when important matches were played.

The only businesses that are complaining are Czech bookmakers. Although Czechs bet hundreds of millions of crowns and won back tens of millions, some bookies say they lost on the championships and others say they barely made any profit.