Businesses looking forward to Notre Dame game

NOW: Businesses looking forward to Notre Dame game

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SOUTH BEND, Ind-- During a normal Notre Dame Football season, Irish fans dressed in blue, gold and green fill the stands, parking lots are filled tailgates, and folks pile into local bars and restaurants to celebrate.

While this football season won’t quite look that way this year because of the coronavirus, and the stadium only filling up to 20 percent capacity, bringing back Notre Dame football means bringing back a little bit of normalcy to local businesses.

“We’re excited that Notre Dame is playing again, we’re excited that the students are back on campus, and football is a main state here at the linebacker,” The Linebacker Lounge Owner Greg Delinski. “People have had enough of this and they want to get out and enjoy themselves and being close to Notre Dame Football is one of the main things they want to do.”

The Linebacker Lounge in South Bend is well-known for their deep love for Notre Dame and as a hangout place for Irish fans to come socialize and watch the game.

Linebacker owner Greg Delinski said that revenue won’t be as high this year because of capacity limits, but that being able to see fans again, is something he can’t wait for.

“We’re going into the first game just like we would go into the first game of any other season,” Delinski said. “More people in town, more people available, the fact that their restricting access to the campus means someone is going to be looking for a place to play and what better place to play then the Linebacker!”

Just like businesses that normally see a lot of foot traffic in their stores, hotels typically see high numbers in bookings too during football season.

However, this year, they're seeing lower numbers, with some hotels who are used to seeing almost full capacity experiencing only half.

“It’s just unheard of for a football weekend and i think what’s even more important to remember too, is not only is their occupancy down but their date is significantly down,” South Bend Chamber of  Commerce Executive Director Rob DeCleene said. “The revenue generated during football season is a significant portion of their yearly revenue.”

South Bend Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rob DeCleene said that he’s not concerned too much about out of state fans because of how well the state has implemented safety measures.

“We’re doing our best to mitigate the effects of the pandemic,” DeCleene said. “Certainly the notion of hosting some out of state visitors that might be here adds a new element, but we’ve also sort have been doing that all summer with a lot of these sports tournaments and what not.”

During a normal Notre Dame Football weekend, Decleene said there’s a 17 million dollar impact on the economy, and that the county isn’t even close to that impact now.

He hopes that with football season being back on, that it will encourage fans to come out and support hotels and local businesses.

“It’s going to be up to us you know, it’s going to be up to the community members to try and get out and support some of these local restaurants, local bars, stores,” DeCleene said.

Kickoff for the Notre Dame game against Duke on Saturday is slated for 2:30 PM.

For more on Notre Dame’s new policies for the 2020 football season, click here.

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