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Experts weigh-in on how a pushed season will affect the economy

The Big Ten's decision is not the worst-case scenario that many downtown businesses fear but it doesn't mean businesses won't feel impacts in a big way.
The Big Ten's decision is not the worst-case scenario that many downtown businesses fear but it doesn't mean businesses won't feel impacts in a big way.(Ellis Wiltsey)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 9:44 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Big Ten's decision is not the worst-case scenario that many downtown businesses fear but it doesn't mean businesses won't feel impacts in a big way.

Tourism-based businesses have been hurting since the pandemic started.

"There's so much that we depend upon sports to provide for our local economy," said Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.

Lincoln’s Convention and Visitors Bureau said Tuesday’s announcement is an even bigger blow.

"I fear further devastation to our hospitality industry and that will affect our hotels, our restaurants, retail, everybody who benefits from Husker home games," said Jeff Maul the executive director. "Now we have to wait an additional three, four, five, six months for that type of revenue to return."

Monday head coach Scott Frost said no sports could mean losses upwards of $300 million. Maul said previous studies show similar projections.

"The university system-wide number that's been quoted in the hundreds of millions," said Maul. "The local impact per gameday weekend on our economy is in excess of $6 million."

That $6 million only counts business from people who go to the games.

White Elm opened its new taproom in the Haymarket last fall. Co-owner Kolby Wood said they’ve had a plan in place for this type of outcome for a while.

"Living with a fluid set of plans for you know the last four or five months," said Wood. "You just kinda roll with it and plan on doing the best with what we can in the spring."

As for when we could really start seeing the effects of a pushed season, Maul said it will come in waves.

“When it comes budget time 2021 for a lot of businesses and they have to look back at previous revenues that they need to sustain themselves in the coming year,” said Maul. “I think the first six months of next year are going to be truly hard for people.”

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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