BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Three major college football games were canceled on Saturday as coronavirus continues to be a challenge teams nationwide are dealing with.
The cancellations also come as COVID-19 cases have reached an all-time high in Alabama and across the nation. Major games canceled due to COVID-19 infections include Alabama vs. LSU, Auburn vs. Mississippi State and UAB vs. North Texas.
“We were going to sit outside and watch Alabama play LSU, but because the games were canceled we decided to come out tonight,” Sue Willis, a football fan, said.
The game cancellations were disappointing for many, but locals say they understand the uncertainity of dealing with coronavirus, although they didn’t get to see their favorite teams play.
“I mean if the teams are having a problem keeping the kids from not getting COVID. Then definitely canceling the games seems like a good step in my opinion,” Rese Massey, a local resident, said.
“I think everybody should take after the NBA cancel early and then try to figure out a way to do it safer if the current protocols aren’t working,” Ryan Backer, another local resident, said.
Businesses including On Tap Sports Café also felt the impact of teams not playing. Manager Ricky Headrick says fortunately the Masters Tournament is being held this weekend, so it has helped keep a steady flow of business. But, he says, more people would be supporting them if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 outbreak.
“When those big games take place it fills up the restaurant pretty full,” Headrick said. “People like to sit down and stay awhile and stay through the end of the game. We are not getting as many of those as we normally would.”
Despite it all, locals say they are going to keep supporting local businesses whether it’s game day or not.
“We want all the great restaurants we have in town to make it through this and come out on the other side so that we can continue to enjoy them and what they bring to the city,” Willis said.
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