COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Local businesses taking yet another blow financially with the announcement of no fall sports for the Big Ten.
The hope during this summer for many businesses was that Ohio State University fall sports, specifically football, would save the day and save their business.
Now that’s not that case.
The Marriott Hotel on Olentangy River Road, which is about two miles away from the Shoe, was set to have a big year. They have reservations for five of the seven visiting football teams, but things began to change.
“We were okay with, ‘okay we’re limited fans, we’ll make it work,’” said Duel General Manager of the Marriott, Lisa Garner. “It was still revenue, it was still income, it was still guests we could take care of and allow our staff to come to work. Then we hear that, ‘oh we’re taking away non-conference games,’ and that’s two games that we’re losing right off the bat, and it’s just like, ‘okay we’re okay. We’ll figure it out.’ Then with the impending news of no season and it’s being postponed until spring possibly, it’s like what are you going to do.”
Many businesses will not get a major revenue source since the pandemic shut everything down in March.
It’ll be nine months in December and many owners may have to close their doors because there’s just no money coming in.
The Marriott Hotel already laid off 70 of its 100 employees, and now say they don’t believe they can hire them back this year.
Bars, restaurants, and stores selling OSU merchandise were also banking on fall sports to give them a boost. Many say at least 50 percent of their annual revenue comes from August to December.
They also relied on foot traffic and freshman orientation, which was also cancelled.
The future is dark for these businesses and they admit there’s no planning for this kind of situation, and with no money coming in, they’re trying to figure out how to pay rent and their employees.