CANTON, Ohio (WOIO) - The Football Hall of Fame game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers has been cancelled due to COVID-19. This is the first major event the NFL has had to completely cancel due to the virus.
It’s a weekend many businesses and residents in the Canton area count on financially.
Scott Paskoff, the director of operations at Jerzee’s Sports Grille around the corner from the Hall said “to say it hurts our business would be an understatement.”
Usually during the Hall of Fame weekend, Jerzee’s is “packed inside. We have parking lot parties outside with bands, and beer trucks, and food, and a lot of people.” He said it runs all weekend long “for the enshrinement, for the game, for the festivities, for the concert, for legends. This is a destination spot.”
He said “we count it into our revenue for the year so we’re losing.” It’s an extra hit while they continue trying to rebound after the months of coronavirus closures.
But he added, " I think we kind of knew it was coming. You hold out hope, but we could see the writing on the wall. It hurts.”
At the bar, Kim Fete had just gotten off the phone with her AirB&B cancelling their stay. They were planning to come from Buffalo and stay at her football rental house for the game weekend. “They’ve cancelled so it’s going to be a pretty depressing August,” she said. “Locally it’s really going to hurt Stark County.”
Residents near the Hall also said they usually charge visitors to park on their lawn. They said it helps pay for things like school supplies and other expenses. But, it’s money they won’t have this year.
Adrian Moore was visiting the Hall of Fame from Atlanta and said he would’ve liked to come for the game. “I definitely would’ve came,” he said.