CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - With the Big Ten announcing its football season will start next month, bars across greater Cleveland and beyond are gearing up for an unexpected boost from Buckeye fans on Saturdays.
“The announcement of Big Ten football is huge for us. We’re a Buckeye bar,” said Justin Costanzo, general manager at Dive Bar in Cleveland. “We’re ecstatic about [the] Buckeye season coming back.”
The bar, located on West 6th Street downtown, is one of the designated watch party sites for the Ohio State University Alumni Club of Greater Cleveland.
“When I heard the announcement that the Big Ten was playing, I probably text 100 people and actually wanted to start crying tears of joy,” Costanzo said.
Of course this season brings a new set of challenges, given the number of health and safety protocols in place due to COVID-19.
“We’ll do our part to make sure everyone is safe in here. We’ve done that since day one,” Costanzo said.
But in a year in which the industry has been plagued by mandatory shutdowns, early last call orders and the prospect of losing sports on TV -- it’s a trade-off Costanzo is willing to make.