Ducky’s Sports Lounge erupted in cheers on Sunday when the Bucs won the NFC championship and eventually a trip back to their hometown to play in next month’s Super Bowl.
What you need to know
- Reduced crowds could limit the amount of money local businesses make from the Super Bowl
- Companies are being forced to adapt because of COVID
“It was chaos,” said Orin Clark, Ducky’s general manager. “It’s wonderful. It’s a good feeling.”
Super Bowl Sunday typically has an economic impact of between $ 100 million and $ 300 million on the host city’s business, with most of the money going to restaurants, bars, and hotels.
This year, however, smaller crowds are expected at local sports bars and lounges – something unknown in Super Bowl cities. COVID-19 has changed everything and Ducky’s has to adapt.
According to Clark, the sports lounge is planning a socially distant tailgating party on Super Bowl Sunday. The parking lot and patio outside Ducky’s will be turned into an event space with food, tents and TVs.
“Most people are going to see the Florida weather and want to be outside because it’s closed. Now they can check it out and see some of that Florida sun,” said Clark.
And it’s not just bars and restaurants that are feeling the financial hardship.
“We basically took a lot of our employees on leave,” said Stephanie Prenatt, co-owner of FH Events, a Tampa-based event planning company. “[We’re not getting] as much business as we had, but we’re still grateful for the business we got. “
Prenatt saw their business decline at a time when it should have been booming because of the big game. Fortunately, she was able to keep some of her clients, one of whom will be the spotlight at the NFL Experience at Curtis Hixon Park.
“We came up with a strategy for what we can do and it’s just started to work,” she said. “We will not give up.”