Bowling for dollars: Super Bowl big day for local business even without local teams
Eli Manning will be home on Sunday.
As will Troy Polamalu, LeSean McCoy and Fred Jackson.
But while northeast Pennsylvania's favorite professional football teams will not be taking part in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, local tavern and restaurant owners still expect to have a winning day at the cash register.
While six of the previous eight Super Bowls had the added draw of featuring one of the regions three "home teams," the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles and one previous Super Bowl featured the Giants squaring off with another team with a strong local fan base, the Buffalo Bills, this year's contest will see the Baltimore Ravens versus the San Francisco 49ers..
But even with no local teams in the big game, local taverns say that interest in the game should be high and business should be good.
"I don't think we'll have a problem," said Jackie Freeman of Slammerz Bar and Grill in Athens. "The Super Bowl always brings more people out because it's the biggest game of the year.
"In fact, when the local teams are playing, many of those fans stay home for the game. But regardless of what teams are playing, there will be plenty of fans of both teams out there. We have a lot of people who moved into the area who were from (the San Francisco and Baltimore areas) who will want to come out and watch the game, and fans of other teams will want to join in the fun, too."
To help draw fans in, Slammerz is offering a number of food and drink specials, including $1 drafts and 35 cent wings, and will be having give-aways of T-shirts, hats and other items. The doors open at 1 p.m.
Not all local pubs and taverns are planning anything connected to the Super Bowl. Calls to Captain Jack's in Towanda, Tamarack's Pub in Troy and The Ram Zone in Wyalusing were met with the response that no special events or specials are planned for gameday. The three taverns say the decision was not based on the teams in the Super Bowl.
Many restaurants, particularly those that offer take-out, say the Super Bowl is usually a good night for their bottom line.
"We sell a lot of wings and pizza," said one employee of LeRoy's in Towanda. "They're a big hit with the Super Bowl parties and so we get a lot of take-out orders. It doesn't matter who's playing; the Super Bowl in the Super Bowl and it's still the big talk around here. It's always about the same whether the Giants are playing or not."
Roberta Lutz of Serpico's Pizza said that she's concerned about another factor.
"It depends on the economy," she said. "God only knows what kind of business we're going to do."
One event that will be returning which requires no rooting interest is the Keystone Theatre's popular Soup-n-Bowl promotion.
On Feb. 3, movie fans who bring a can of soup to donate to the Towanda Area Christian Outreach's food pantry can have a bowl of any size filled with popcorn for $1 during any showing that day.
Contact Bob Igoe at (570) 265-1652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.