COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–For the first time in nearly two years, Ohio Stadium will be open at full capacity on Saturday. That is welcome news for bars, restaurants, and other businesses near campus.
Lisa Garner, the general manager at the Marriott and Residence Inn Columbus OSU, on Olentangy River Road, told NBC4 that the hotels in the area are sold out for the weekend.
“It’s been a challenging year and a half with the pandemic and just trying to figure out how to keep the business going and everything,” Garner said. “It’s a breath of fresh air to have this business coming in and trying to get back to some sense of normalcy.”
Tony Mollica, the owner of The Varsity Club, is also glad to see fans back in his bar and restaurant. Mollica said the last 18 months or so were “devastating” for business, but he is expecting a big day, on Saturday.
“We base our whole year around Ohio State football, as many people do in this area, so it’ll be welcome after having two years off,” he said. “Some people didn’t make it through it. Fortunately, we’re still here so it’s going to be a huge day for us.”
Mollica added that The Varsity Club will follow the city’s mask order, which was signed by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, on Friday.
“We’ve followed every order throughout the pandemic so it’s just making minor adjustments, and we’ll do the same,” he said. “We’ll follow all the mandates.”
The Varsity Club will open at 7:30, on Saturday morning.