Low big-game turnout at local bars

David Yochum

Junior mathmatics major Dave Drobnick cheers as the Bears return the kickoff for a touchdown. Junior sports administration major Curt Vigneulle, who was rooting for the Colts, laughs at his friend at Buffalo Wild Wings. AMANDA SOWARDS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: John Proppe

Minutes before the opening kickoff, Buffalo Wild Wings was half-full.

As the Chicago Bears scored the game’s first touchdown, bartenders at Mugsy’s were serving a dozen people.

And before halftime, Natalie and Erin Rossi sat inside a quiet Ray’s Place, finishing a slice of chocolate cake.

“I don’t care who wins the game because the Browns aren’t in it,” Natalie Rossi said.

With outside temperatures struggling to break zero degrees, it seemed Rossi, senior nursing major, wasn’t the only student who couldn’t warm up to yesterday’s Super Bowl.

Around the city of Kent, restaurants and bars faced thin crowds throughout the game – something local managers weren’t planning for.

“We’re a little overstaffed,” said Craig Flament, Buffalo Wild Wings manager. “Most of our business has been takeout.”

While the Zephyr only opened its first floor during the Super Bowl, Brewhouse owner Jimmy Tribuzzo kept his entire business open.

But he expected bigger crowds.

“I think the weather had a lot to do with the turnout,” Tribuzzo said.

However, there were a few students who braved frigid temperatures to see the Indianapolis Colts make history.

Kayla Huan and Marcia Thomas, speech pathology graduate students, watched the Super Bowl front and center inside Buffalo Wild Wings.

“Our friend works here. We can eat, watch the game – do everything at once,” Thomas said.

Dave Drobnick went downtown to find a television with the best football view.

But his mind wasn’t totally on the Super Bowl.

“At half-time I’ll be calculating the theory of relativity,” joked Drobnick, junior mathematics major.

Contact public affairs reporter David Yochum at [email protected].