Downtown business owners hope for a Husker football return
As downtown businesses continue without the football crowds, Channel 8 asks how they are managing the limbo of if football will happen this year.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- As downtown businesses continue without the football crowds, Channel 8 asks how they are managing the limbo of if football will happen this year.
“Those four to five home games every year is about 25 percent of our whole entire year,” said Barb Ballard, owner of From Nebraska Gift Shop.
Economics experts say each home game brings in around $5 million to the local economy.
A football season draws thousands of customers to downtown Lincoln each year, but with Husker football on hold, it impacts restaurants, hotels, gift shops, and bars, heavily.
Channel 8 asked if the BIG TEN allows Husker football to return, how would businesses manage?
“It means that we hire in some staff and we’ll be ready for some football,” says Steven Engel, managing partner for Buzzard Billys. “I think everybody’s been excited and I think we all thought that it was going to be postponed and not canceled.”
“We would be ecstatic to get football back, but we also have to have fans, and there’s that juxtaposition of how are we gonna have fans having people come back down into the Haymarket,” said Ballard How is that gonna work?”
Ballard says a football season, though welcome, would catch some smaller businesses off guard who stopped many orders that normally would come for the big crowds.
“Are we gonna be able to rush back and get those orders in?” said Ballard. “Are we going to even have the money to even place those orders? Cause our business has been so restricted.”
And their opinion on Nebraska President Ted Carter’s whisper on a hot mic.
“I think you just have to be careful about what you say and always know that someone is listening,” says Engel.
“Everybody makes mistakes and I’m sure he, like all of us, are getting asked a lot of questions,” says Ballard. “Nobody really has the answers and nobody knows what football season is gonna look like.”
Most business owners tell Channel 8 they are rooting for the Huskers to play, as its good for business and morale. They, like many, wonder what will a football season look like during the pandemic?