WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – When the Ohio State Buckeyes play at home, crowds tend to stay closer to Ohio Stadium, but for away games, restaurants, and bars in suburban areas often have huge money-making weekends without the competition on High Street.
All day long on Saturday, sports bars in Westerville were packed with people dressed in scarlet and gray, ready to cheer on the Buckeyes.
Greg Paugh, the general manager of Harry Buffalo in Westerville, said sales on a football Saturday are 30 percent higher than on a regular Saturday.
“Oh, it’s huge,” Paugh said. “It makes our weekend – Saturday, Sunday.”
Paugh said that number grows even higher when the Buckeyes have an away game.
“Typically, the away games will be bigger because, like you mentioned, a lot of times they are down on campus enjoying that experience, but we will take it,” he said.
Paugh said fans started pouring in two hours before kickoff.
Harry Buffalo’s wasn’t the only place to see an influx of fans Saturday.
“The away games are always kind to us,” said Matt Palmer, owner of Time and Change, also in Westerville. “Especially in the four o’clock slot opposed to the noon and the eight o’clock.”
He said away games during the lunch and dinner rush are always the best for business and that each week, the crowd continues to grow.
“Especially as the games get a little more important as we get a little closer to the end of the season and the game against the team up north,” Palmer said.
Next week, the Buckeyes have a bye week, and then finish up the regular season’s six games – three at the ‘Shoe and three on the road.