Hundreds of 'incredible' Prestonians came out to support city's Euro Fan Zone
Police had upped their patrols in the city centre last night, July 11, as hundreds of lucky Preston football fans watched the Euro cup final from the atmospheric outdoor Fan Zone
They may have fallen at the final hurdle and missed out on the trophy, but looking back over the past few weeks, England's fight to the Euro final was nothing short of momentous.
And at each tense game, Preston fans had the chance to be one of the lucky 500 to grab their ticket to see the game broadcast outdoors at the Fan Zone, hosted at the Flag Market.
Organised by the Preston Business Improvement District, the England games were shown on a huge screen as 91 tables of fans were served drinks and snacks.
Before each game, as the Three Lions edged closer to the big final, tickets began selling out in record time, with last night's event completely selling out online in less than 60 seconds.
Speaking of the success of the Fan Zone, Mark Whittle, Preston BID manager said: that the appetite from Preston fans was 'incredible' following a challenging year of lockdowns.
He said: "The Fan Zone has been a great event to work on, thanks to a team of committed local businesses and city centre sponsors.
"It has provided an opportunity for people to meet outdoors to share in something exciting and positive, which is especially important after the tough times many people have endured since March 2020.
"The tournament has provided an opportunity for hospitality businesses especially, bringing a boost to consumer confidence, which is important as we head towards a further reduction in restrictions.
"The appetite from Prestonians for this event has been nothing short of incredible, the kind of interest the city hasn’t seen for quite some time in terms of live events; we’re really appreciative of this.
"We’d like to thank everyone for their support, attendance, investment, and feedback - which has been really good.
"We’re now looking ahead to the summer, and the safe return of lots more things that people have missed and will no doubt return to safely."
And at last night's big final, special video messages from Sir Geoff Hurst and David Seaman were played out to the crowds at the Flag Market ahead of the game.
The event also featured in a video taken by England player Kelvin Phillips, which was shared to his social media.
Police patrols were stepped up in the city were stepped up yesterday evening ahead of the result, as crowds of thousands were seen celebrating earlier in the week with many breaking social distancing guidelines.
However, despite making a couple of arrests, Lancashire Police said that the majority of fans remained in good spirits and were 'well-natured' in their celebrations.
A spokesperson said: We did have some incidents of people being drunk and disorderly which did result in a couple of arrests, however in the main people were enthusiastic with their support for the England Team and celebrated into the night.
"An operation was in place to ensure people could watch the football safely, with officers present in the City throughout the match and then afterwards as people left the pubs and fan zone, continuing their celebrations.
"Well-natured in the whole, but a very busy night for officers due to the high volume of people in the area."
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