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Lincoln businesses prepare for return of football

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 5:20 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - It’s the moment many Lincoln businesses have been waiting for; football is back. While there will be no fans allowed in the stadium, businesses hope fans will still show out strong in the downtown area.

For Husker gear store-- Best of Big Red-- it’s been a stressful year.

“That was a very scary time,” said General Manager Joey Rupp. “There was a point in time, where we were not sure if we were going to be able to stay open.”

Now football coming back seems like one step closer to normalcy.

“I’m ready to have the hustle and bustle back down here,” said Rupp. “I’m ready to see all my customers, It’s been a big relief to finally just have an announcement. Even if it is just 8 games, it’s better than none.”

Cheyenne Hemphill, the owner of Husker Headquarters said their 20th year has been one of their worst.

“Football season is the whole reason why we’re here,” said Hemphill. “Without football, we wouldn’t really have this business. Once you take that away, it cuts you down almost 100 percent of your sales almost.”

Hemphill said he’s hoping that football means fans show up to Lincoln, and that those fans want new Husker gear. Said Hemphill:

“Well, we’re expecting that once we start get the schedule out, and find out again if we’re going to have it and when we’re going to have it, we’re expecting people to think of us again, come back and shop and get ready for the season.”

For The Kindler Hotel, their first year was supposed to be big. They were releasing luxury packages based around Husker Football.

“It was disappointing,” said Cheryl Deiro, the Director of Sales and Marketing at the hotel. "It’s definitely been an unusual year with a lot of different circumstances. It’s not just the hotel industry, certainly all the businesses in downtown Lincoln need support.

Now-- Deiro said they’ve gotten some bookings, and that people may enjoy the games from their lounge, or patio.

“We will have our lounge open,” said Deiro. “We have our new patio out here in front, our doors open from the inside so they can hear the game. We’ve also got umbrellas and heaters out there.”

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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