LIMA — Hopefully, Allen County residents were a bit more sympathetic during Sunday’s snowstorm than Bronco’s former tight-end, Shannon Sharp, before Super Bowl XXXIII.
The athlete said he wouldn’t even stop for opponent Ray Buchanan if he were stuck in a snowstorm and his car broke down.
Still, it might not have been an issue because only few residents were even brave enough to venture out for the big game Sunday night in anticipation of a torrential dump of flurries.
In the days leading up to the Super Bowl XLIX kickoff, meteorologists expected the area would get between 8 to 10 inches of snowfall from late Saturday night until early Monday. Even though that ended up not being the case, the threat of potentially treacherous weather kept most football lovers at home.
As a result, local sports bars were the ones who got sacked Sunday night.
Business “has been down for the whole day so far, especially compared to years past,” said Mulligans owner Jody Franklin. “We heard about the storm and we were talking about it the other day. But we’ll just have to take it in stride. The bar business is so fickle anyway.”
The bar mostly depends on its regulars, but Franklin said some who lived a bit further away were afraid to come out to watch the game because of the weather. Others still showed up for the game, though.
“It’s never really been a big night for us,” he said. “When we first opened eight years ago, a lot more people came out then. But it’s slowly decreased over the years.”
J’s American Pub Bar Manager Trish Yarbrough also noticed a down-swing in the number of folks who came out for the night. They even had all-you-can-eat wings and beer bucket specials.
“It just kinda seems like a normal night,” she said. “Maybe a little bit better. We still have a pretty good crowd, though.”
Super Bowl game day is usually one of the biggest nights for take-out at Lima’s Buffalo Wild Wings. But the sports bar also experienced a slight decrease in the amount of take-out orders Sunday night compared to past years. Inside it was still pretty crowded, though.
“People in the area are all a little leery, not knowing what’s going to come,” said Donna Hall, the restaurant’s general manager. “The weather is always a factor, though. Just like last year or any other day with bad weather, we’ll overcome it one way or another.”
According to National Retail Federation’s annual “Super Bowl Spending Survey,” only about 5 percent of fans planned to go out to a bar to watch the game this year any way. Instead, most of the estimated $14.3 billion spent on Super Bowl Sunday was expected to be spent on food and memorabilia.
“One slow night’s not going to affect anything,” Hall said. “We’ve still got other events coming up like March Madness.”