Sports bars during football season are affected due to COVID-19 guidelines

Sports bars during football season are affected due to COVID-19 guidelines

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Sports bar attendance during football season has been affected due to the COVID-19 guidelines.

Not only did football start last Thursday night, but for the first time in history, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and WNBA played games on the exact same night.

In a normal situation, sports bars throughout Amarillo would be thriving although with the extra precautions of COVID-19 the results have been the opposite.

Bars have had to adapt to stay open by limiting seats to 50 percent.

When people stay to watch a game or multiple games, seat availability start to decrease.

Hummers Sports Cafe is experiencing this.

“With the restrictions, we’re very lucky we’re still busy, but we’re definitely turning people away because once people get sat, they’re gonna stay the whole game, so there’s no turn over. We definitely lose some people for that reason,” said Jimmie Lou Stanford, owner of Hummers Sports Cafe.

Stanford says in the past the bars use to be packed, now they are only allowed ten people at a time.

The manager at Walk-Ons says they also are losing potential business, even when wait times aren’t that long.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, all people on the waiting list must wait outside.

The manager thinks this looks deceiving to someone driving in the parking lot.

“The perception is when your driving in you think oh my gosh they’re really busy, they have a line out the door and it’s not necessarily the case its just we have to follow those standards because of social distancing and everybody has to wait outside, it looks like we’re a lot busier than we are,” said Amanda Flores, service manager at Walk-Ons Sports Bistreaux.

Flores says even though it is busy, it could be busier.

She says if the bar would have been at a 100 percent capacity last Sunday, Walk-In’s would have made 7,000 more dollars.

She says if that were the case, more employees would be able to come in and work.

"It would increase our sales. That would give us more of an opportunity to potentially have more staff on, schedule more people, we’d probably have a bigger staff list,” said Flores.

Flores says Walk-In’s is promoting more deals through social media to get higher attendance on Sundays.

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