With Launceston hosting not one, but two AFL finals matches this weekend, businesses were experiencing customer levels not seen since before COVID.
According to Sporties owner Nick Daking, the past few days have bee the busiest his pub has been in the past two years.
"Last night was one of our busier Friday nights and traditionally, August, for the last 10 years, has always been one of the slowest trading months," he said.
Mr Daking said a steady flow of traffic across the lunch period and into the evening coupled with strong bookings meant the pub had experienced one of its business days in recent memory.
"I think we've got one room left for the weekend," he said. "As compared to the weekend before where we probably traded about 30 per cent occupancy, we are now at 90 per cent occupancy as a result of the footy being on."
He said Saturday was only the beginning with today's dual Melbourne final expected to bring in higher numbers. "Melbourne teams are the big draw."
With restrictions placed on the number of people who could attend games, Mr Daking said heading down to a bar was the next best thing.
"A pub is the next best thing especially this time of year when the weather's not too conducive to having a barbecue outside," he said. "We'll be showing all the sports, but the footy will go on the big screen, so it'll be live and loud."
Fan Zorb Nathan said heading down to the pub before the game meant good food, good beer and a good atmosphere.
Premier Peter Gutwein said Launceston was buzzing, with footy lovers travelling from all corners of the state to experience the action, providing a boost to small businesses and accommodation providers.
The prosperity appeared to stretch from one end of town to the other, with similar scenes at the Sports Garden Hotel. At lunchtime, three hours before the historic finals match between the Sydney Swans and the GWS Giants kicked off, the hotel was booked out for lunch.
Swans supporter Fran Smyth joined friends at the SGH before the game and said the atmosphere was fabulous.
Mr Gutwein said the value the AFL provided the state was evident and highlighted the value a Tasmanian expansion would provide.
"This blockbuster weekend tops off a great few weeks for football in Tasmania, with confirmation by Colin Carter that we should have a team of our own," he said.
Mr Daking said the state having its own team in the AFL was a good outcome for the public and business.
"All in all it's fantastic for the town and great for the pubs and clubs so bring it on," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Follow us on Google News: The Examiner
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.