BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — After days of speculation, the Big Ten Conference has officially suspended its upcoming football season with the hope of returning in the Spring. The impact can be felt throughout the fan bases and businesses surrounding Indiana University (IU) and Purdue University.
“My sister previously went to IU, and we would come to visit her. We would tailgate, and then go to the games, and that was always a really fun time,” details Will Lucy who is an incoming freshman at IU, “I agree with their decision because I don’t see it going anywhere right now. I think it’s getting worse.”
“I don’t see how they could have made a different decision honestly,” adds 40-year Bloomington resident Jeff Mease, who owns several restaurants and bars in town. “One thing sports do is sort of engage people, and I think it will feel a lot different without that.”
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren says, “There is just too much uncertainty at this point.”
The uncertainty now falls on business owners like Mease who will continue on without sports to fill their tables. As it is, hot spots have already had to remove tables to abide by reduced occupancy rules.
“If they can get it done in the Spring that would be awesome,” hopes Jacob Langfield who is a front house manager at The Tap in Bloomington, “There is plenty of appetite for it, and I think a lot of people are wanting it. Hopefully, The Tap is a place people still want to come and watch games. There is still going to be a lot of sports on, there’s NBA.”
It is unknown if the virus will be contained enough to have a football season this Spring.
“We were so focused on trying to make the fall happen that these are the next set of questions to present themselves,” explains Purdue Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Bobinski.
If a season returns this Spring, there is speculation from Purdue that it could be a shorter season to help make it easier to come back the following fall. At this point, any season at all would be beneficial for these universities.