NFL fans return to local sports bars with restrictions | KOB 4

NFL fans return to local sports bars with restrictions

Patrick Hayes
Updated: September 18, 2020 10:22 PM
Created: September 18, 2020 09:30 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Local restaurants and sports bars are spending big bucks to show NFL games despite restrictions on capacity.

Spectators in northeast Albuquerque said last year they saw 300 people on Sundays during football season. This season, that number has dropped to about 75 because of the public health order.

"Sports coming back – we're actually starting to break even a little bit,” said Chris Clayton, owner of Spectators.

Clayton said his business was losing tens of thousands of dollars each month during the pandemic, but he thinks he’ll be able to recoup some of that money thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program.

"Well the first part was pretty hard when we were completely shut down,” he said.

“That cost us approximately $100,000,” Clayton added.

Some places like Rock & Brews on Montgomery closed their doors earlier this year and never reopened.

Meantime, Brickyard Pizza owner Derek Young said airing sports can be expensive but it’s also important.  

"We're making sure to keep NFL Ticket and MLB Extra Innings, and all these other programs, to make sure that our customers know we understand their wants and needs and while they support us, we support them,” he said.

According to Clayton, he spends more than $10,000 to show NFL games and needs each customer to spend about $10 to break even.

Regardless, he’s just happy to see sports fans returning.

"It was good to see that and we have a lot of good regulars too that's really been helping us out."

Both Spectators and Brickyard Pizza say they’ve been able to remain open with COVID-safe practices.

Spectators said they won’t start turning a profit until they can reopen the bar and increase capacity.

The current public health order took effect on Friday and will expire Oct. 16.

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