Sports bars, football season, and COVID-19…fear of losing business?


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Sports bars and restaurants are preparing for a football season with fewer fans.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we celebrate America’s favorite past time, and local businesses across the country and here in Eastern North Carolina are forced to adapt.

The first day of the NFL’s 2020 season was Thursday, September 10th against the Texans and The Chiefs.

What usually would’ve been met with screaming fans in stadiums, tailgating, packed bars and restaurants, saw a different picture.

Following CDC guidelines, limited amount of fans are allowed in stadiums during games based on the state. Masks and socially distancing are required too.

The state of North Carolina is currently not permitting fans in their stadiums.

Here in Greenville, it’s a similar look.

As East Carolina University football team waits to play the UCF Knights September 26th, local businesses wait to see if they’ll have turnout from fans.

“It’s obviously not going to be the same as last year…but I think ECU students will still show up and have a good time,” said Sup Dogs owner Bret Oliverio.

Many customers want to have a good time, but are nervous about getting sick from the crowds.

“People don’t wear masks. People don’t follow guidelines. Too much at stake to get sick right now honestly,” said ECU sophomore Carter Emma Smith.

Smith has some advice for people heading out to the bars on game day.

“Don’t overdo it. Don’t be acting crazy, and if there’s too many people find somewhere else to go,” said Smith.

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