Big Rapids Bars Concerned About the Possibility of FSU Football Being Canceled

Many sports conferences are deciding whether or not to have a football season this year, leaving bars and restaurants in college towns like Big Rapids concerned about their future.

“It’s maybe for the best, but I don’t like it,” says Big Rapids resident Jerry Conrad.

Conrad watches most Ferris State University football games in the stands or at his favorite bar. But this year, that could change.

Ferris State is part of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, currently deciding whether or not to cancel their football season this year.

“I think it’s a shame, but I think it’s probably a necessity,” Conrad says. “I hate to think about it that way, the virus has spread coughing and not holding your distance and being confided.”

Roxanne Franck, owner of Szots Bar & Grill in Big Rapids, says they’ll lose a lot of business if the conference is canceled.

“The restaurants are going to suffer the most—and the bars—because they’re the ones that everybody goes to. And the party stores, because they always have the pregame and the tailgating…it’s huge,” Franck says.

She says the last few months have already strained them financially.

“It was way down the three months we were closed, we were open a few days for take-out, and we’re still down thousands of dollars a month,” Franck says.

The decision on what to do with the 2020 football season for many sports conferences is still up in the air. The Mid-American Conference has cancelled its fall seasons. The Big Ten conference is expected to make their decision this week.

Conrad says, “I think the economy’s going to be affected severely, the Big Ten, they make millions of dollars. Each college does…but what, you’re going to risk the virus?”

Categories: Coronavirus