Stillwater and Norman businesses concerned over economic impact if football season is canceled

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – As the dominoes continue to fall leading to the possibility of the 2020 college football season being canceled, local businesses in Stillwater and Norman are getting ready for the huge economic hit that would come with it.

“We’re planning for it,” O’Connell’s in Norman owner Jeff Stewart told KFOR. “We’ve all modified our staff, we’ve modified our menus, we’ve asked our vendors and suppliers to help out wherever possible to reduce our pricing and cost.”

Some businesses say the hit they would take on an actual game day would be more than half of what they would usually take in.

“Instead of $100, we might have a $10 day,” For Pete’s Sake in Stillwater manager Sharon Sample said. “That’s going to be the impact.”

The impact doesn’t stop there. Cities in Oklahoma depend on sales tax. So if you take away the hundred of thousands of fans that would come to town for a game day, you also take away the sales tax dollars that come with them.

“My hope is that we can make up ground elsewhere, and it won’t be such a dramatic impact to sales tax,” Stillwater Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Justin Minges said. “I won’t lie to you, it will be an impact and there will be lost revenue, and services will be impacted.”

The Big 12 has not made a decision on the upcoming season, but no matter what happens, O’Connell’s owner Jeff Stewart says there are some things more important than a game everyone loves.

“It’s just not worth the risk to have one of those kids impacted with some debilitating disease the rest of their lives,” Stewart said. “Just for a little football.”

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