Corvallis, Ore. -- The Corvallis community is bracing for a fall without Beaver football after the PAC-12 announced that no sports will be played for the rest of the year.
Dozens of athletes from the Pac-12 and Big-10 want to play ball and have expressed their desire to organize a season together. But if you take a look at Reser Stadium, an empty parking lot is what you can expect this coming fall. And empty parking lots can lead to empty businesses around Corvallis.
“Business has been pretty slow with the coronavirus and it being summer as well,” bartender Brendan Garrison with Clodfelter’s Public House said. “We had to shut down for a while and [we] took a hit.”
Clodfelter’s isn’t the only Corvallis hotspot under pressure to make up for lost football season revenue, as dozens of other businesses are in the same situation.
“We were looking forward to the football season because we do get a lot of our money from that time period,” Garrison said.
Clodfelter’s couldn’t disclose the percentage of sales that come from a football season. But workers did emphasize an empty stadium leads to an emptier bar. The cancelled fall season also has students on edge.
“Obviously with COVID-19 it makes it near impossible to have large groups of people,” said OSU junior Caleb Bridgestone. “Plus with football season being cancelled, there’s no pregames, there’s no after party, there’s nothing. You can’t do a lot in the city.”
If crazed Beaver fans can’t flood Corvallis before and after kickoff, then businesses have to fight to stay open.
“The hope is that we won’t close down again,” said Garrison. “That’s something we may not be able to recover from unfortunately because we went into debt the last time we did.”
Garrison told KEZI that expanding business hours back to midnight will help tremendously. OSU students returning in the fall will also be a boost.