Tri-City bars, restaurants expect increase in business with Husker football return

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 6:27 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - For sports fans it has been a rough year getting to catch a game. With more games taking place and the Huskers making a return, local sports bars and restaurants are expecting a lot of people wanting to come watch the games. Even now they are seeing small crowds around their screens to see what games are on.

“Baseball has been doing really good, we’ve been watching a lot of Royals,” Balz Sports Bar General Manager Rachel Winget said. “NFL has taken off like crazy, last week was the opening season and we were just housed so that’s really good.”

Now the Husker football team will be hitting the field again, places like Balz are expecting a full house. They are thankful they will be able to have 100% capacity under Phase 4 because they have had to turn people away with past restrictions.

“Yes a lot and it was just awful. I hope we never have to see it again,” Winget said.

Hastings Keno staff said half of their clients frequently talk about how much they miss college football. With the stadium closed to fans they also anticipate a big group to turn out to watch on their screens.

“Being into Phase 4 and everything I think that’s going to make people more comfortable about coming out and participating in everything,” Assistant Manager Michele Lyons said.

Those who work in the hospitality business, like Hastings Keno Sous Chef Shane Schultz, believe the highs and lows of game day are great to share with their customers.

“It’s just a fun atmosphere, everybody is in a great mood until we start losing. But I think everybody is a little tired of being home and they want to see people and be out,” Lyons said.

A lot of those businesses are doing what they can to recover from the lost business earlier in the pandemic and are thankful to have customers back in their buildings cheering on their teams.

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