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Lincoln businesses feel the sting of canceled Husker home game

Posted at 6:02 AM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 07:03:30-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Tuesday’s news of the Huskers home game being canceled had a lot of fans disappointed. But in Lincoln, businesses are also feeling the sting.

For the Best of Big Red shop in Downtown Lincoln, football season brings in about 75% of their sales for the year. But the first home game, that’s almost like a holiday for the shop.

“A football game day on this side, there’s time where I can’t even get through," said manager Joey Rupp. "I’ve had to run around outside to the front door. I’ve had to run around to the other side. I mean it’s wall to wall.”

With the coronavirus already slowing down sales this year, hearing that Saturday's game would be canceled was definitely a disappointment.

“I wasn’t shocked because I knew that it was probably going to happen," Rupp said. "But when they do that final announcement it’s kind of like, ‘oh we were almost there.”

For other businesses that aren’t quite so Husker focused, the news still brought some unease.

Screamers Dining and Cabaret has only been in the Haymarket area for two years, and while the restaurant focuses on stage performance, they still bring in Husker fans when the game takes center stage.

“First year of course it was pretty tough, because nobody knew we were here or knew about us," said owner, Kevin Witcher. "And then the second year it got a little better. We were looking forward to this year, still building on that, so we don’t really know what’s going to happen now.”

That’s a sentiment shared by many businesses that are changing gears just days before the Huskers were scheduled to play. They are hoping the warm weather and Halloween will still bring out customers to make up for some of that loss.