Bars, restaurants prepare for first fall Bison football game
The Bison football season normally brings with it hundreds of thousands of dollars in visitor spending
FARGO, N.D. — The NDSU football season normally brings with it big dollars to the metro.
Those at the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau estimate every home game during a normal season brings in between $500,000 to $600,000.
“People are spending money at our restaurants, they’re spending money in our stores, they’re spending money in the bars and the hotels, and when they leave, those dollars stay here and get re-spent elsewhere in the community and have a really positive impact,” said Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau Sports Director Kali Mork.
With the Bison staying off the field until this weekend, surrounding restaurants, retailers and hotels have taken a major hit.
“Yes, there is going to be a Bison football season and we will all welcome it with open arms next spring, but how many of those restaurants and those businesses aren’t going to be around at that point if we don’t support them now and get them through these tough times?” added Mork.
With Saturday being the first and perhaps only NDSU football game this fall, businesses are in preparation mode.
“We’re just hoping that everybody can be safe and be smart and come out and have a good time,” said Labby’s Grill & Bar manager Al Honzay. “Hopefully pack the place as far as what we can.”
Labby’s, across the street from the Fargodome, is operating at 75 percent capacity.
Air purifier systems, frequent sanitization and employees wearing masks are some of the safety protocols the business is abiding by.
“It’s been a challenge, but just like everybody else, we’re keeping our heads above water and doing our best,” added Labby’s.
Although it’s not yet known what kind of an economic impact this game will have, one thing is certain: continuing to invest in local businesses will have the biggest effect moving forward.
Mork explained, “It’ll be a waiting game to see what happens from a community standpoint just because it is something we’ve never dealt with before. The best thing that people can do right now is go out and support their local businesses.”
Click here to see the Bison’s spring schedule.