AKRON, Ohio — The cancelation of MAC fall sports doesn't just impact the athletes and the school, but also the surrounding community. Local businesses in Akron rely on game day for part of their revenue.
“We just built our business back up with the kids coming back and now it’s just taking a big plummet,” said Courtney Shook, General Manager at The Score Draft Room.
Businesses like The Score Draft Room are trying to stay afloat. The spot sits right across the street from the University of Akron’s football stadium. Its new owner, Trevor Porter, just took over the bar about 13 days ago. He said the location has been a big part of the bar’s success, but without anyone playing on the field this year they’re facing an uphill battle.
“We can only handle what we can and you know you have to adapt to it a little bit,” Porter said.
They’re not the only spot that was banking on college sports to help overcome the state’s shutdown and coronavirus safety orders.
Jeff Kucko, General Manager at Crave in downtown Akron, said they’ve already had to cancel reservations from out of town sports teams and student-athletes.
“As schools open back up, the shows start going and the sporting events start happening, we tend to get a little more busy,” Kucko explained. “It effects everybody across, so if the brewery across the street starts doing poorly because of that then we do poorly in the long run so it’s all this synergy and everybody feeling the same effects.”
These businesses are hurting. Some are now forced to reinvent themselves, while hoping it’s enough to bring out sports fans and keep their doors open.
“It’s really killed a lot of business and there’s a lot of places that might have to shut back down just for the time being,” Shook said.