FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — Local businesses we’ve reached out to have had a busy day seeing many Hog fans hit the streets of Fayetteville, including dining-in and doing some shopping for Hogs gear at their stores.
The Stadium Shoppe says it has had a boom in business and that fans are excited to tailgate after it was prohibited last season. The owner says they need the customers after COVID-19 closures caused revenue losses last year and that the shop is letting people in regardless of facemask status to help.
“We’re still digging out from COVID, we’re still paying off invoices that we couldn’t pay earlier, every business is going to benefit from this weekend. Our angle is we can’t lose sales, if they want to wear a mask, wear a mask, If they don’t, you don’t have to. It’s up to the customer,” said Robert Mann, Owner, The Stadium Shoppe.
Tonys Pizza on Dickson Street also says they are still recovering from last year's revenue losses.
They anticipate crowds Friday night, but there are COVID-19 safety concerns. Facemasks are optional for customers, but their staff are required to wear one.
“Everyone here has been vaccinated. I even carry my card with me, so the customers know. It gives them reassurance on the steps and protocols we take serving you guys. We want to keep our numbers low in Fayetteville so we can enjoy our football season,” said Alex Pariss, with Tonys.
Both are looking forward to seeing new faces, locals and those who traveled from out of state to cheer on the hogs.
"Locally owned businesses like ours, we are trying to catch up the best that we can,” said Pariss.
“We’re going to have full crowds, people are tailgating, everyone is going back to the games again. We have a lot of people in town, and I think every business in Fayetteville is going to benefit from it,” says Mann.