CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland Browns fought hard until the end, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Kansas City Chiefs. But the teams’ loss was still a big win for local bars and restaurants.
Browns fans, dressed in Browns football jerseys, enjoyed watching the game with other fans at area watering holes and provided a much needed economic boost for Cleveland area bars and restaurants.
“All the bars are packed, people are standing here like crazy. All the tables are booked, people believe in our city. The money is flowing in,” said Matthew Kniz, a Browns fan from Cleveland.
Spirited Cleveland Browns fans had plenty to cheer about as their team - down during the first quarter - battled back in the second quarter to come within 5 points of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Not going to lie, I’m a little bit worried,” said Browns fan McKenzie Salerno, as she looked at the score at the top of the third quarter. Salerno was at the Rumor Bar and Lounge on West 6th Street downtown.
Sunday’s game was the Browns first playoff appearance in nearly two decades, but dedicated fans packed area bars and restaurants hoping to see history play out.
As fans at one Cleveland bar cheered, “Here we go Brownies, here we go!” Others we’re just happy to enjoy this moment.
“I’ve been waiting on this my entire life. I remember Bernie Kosar days,” one Cleveland woman said.
But the dream of making it to the AFC Championship game this season, just wasn’t in the cards.
“We had some hope this season. We definitely had a good season. Better than years past. So believe land right?” said Kiki Tyus of Cleveland.
“It was a tough loss but we fought until the end. Just couldn’t get it done,” said Nick Targosky, another fan.
But the Browns’ loss was still a big win for area bars and restaurants, most hit hard financially like other businesses due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“All the businesses are maxed. You can’t get in, standing in lines, waiting,” said Kniz. “But it’s good for businesses.”