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Mid-Michigan businesses and fans excited for return of Big Ten football

Mid-Michigan business owners and managers are already feeling a sigh of relief. For them, the Big Ten’s decision to resume this football season is about more than getting players back on the field. It’s about getting customers back inside their doors.
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 11:17 PM EDT
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GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - More games means more business!

Mid-Michigan business owners and managers are already feeling a sigh of relief. For them, the Big Ten’s decision to resume this football season is about more than getting players back on the field. It’s about getting customers back inside their doors.

These businesses have already suffered a long and difficult year because of the coronavirus, so the Big Ten’s announcement comes at a much-needed time.

“It’s great! I mean it’s going to give us a chance to open earlier on Saturdays. It brings big crowds in on Saturday afternoons. We sell a lot more food, so we’re excited," Christopher Bronson said.

Bronson is the manager at Mike’s Tavern in Grand Blanc. He says they get excited for college football every year because sales are high, especially on Saturday afternoons, but it’s not just about the sales.

“It definitely brings great morale and excitement. Our customers get excited for it every weekend. It’s a little bit of competition between people, and we love it," Bronson said.

It’s that feel-good vibrant atmosphere: the cheers, the laughs, and in some cases, even the tears. One that makes restaurant owners, managers, and customers whole and united as fans.

“It will almost be like being able to be at a game. Being able to be around a bunch of people, watching sports, having that comradery back a little bit. A little bit of normalcy, even if it’s still kind of weird right now, and even if we can’t go down to the game. It’ll be nice to watch with some other people," Vaughn Mortimer said.

Mortimer lives in Davison, and he says he loves college football almost as much as he loves beer. He says he’s thrilled to be able to watch his Michigan Wolverines play this fall but is also hoping this gives local businesses a chance to make up some of their losses from this year.

“It’s about time. It’s about time we’ve been able to get back to it and have small businesses be able to make it be able to get by. We go out and we support local businesses. We get out and we get after it at the bars, and it’ll be nice for them and it’ll be a really good thing for everybody," Mortimer said.

The conference says it plans to open its football season the weekend of October 23, bringing a glimmer of hope to businesses and fans this fall of 2020.

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