STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- The college football season will be unique and unlike any we’ve seen before.
Governor Tate Reeves issued an executive order limiting the number of fans allowed on the stands, and also canceling tailgates.
“This will it hurt because we’ve been gearing for this time all year really,” said Brad Vickers, owner and founder of Southern Tradition Tailgating LLC.
Inside the company’s warehouse are the thousands of tents, tables, and chairs they were ready to provide customers.
Those now will now remain folded.
“Majority of our customers have already paid for 2020, so we’ve offered two different options for them, either a full refund or just a transfer of their tailgating package to next year,” said Vickers.
Vickers said this decision will cost some employees their jobs this fall, and that won’t be the only loss.
The business owner is also expecting to lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“It’s basically shutting us down for a full year, that’s 12 months without money coming in,” he said.
But it isn’t just tailgating companies, catering services like Brian Michael’s Catering Company will be hit hard financially.
“It’s definitely going to have some impact on our sales for sure,” said David Wilkerson, general manager. “It’s a lot of dollars that aren’t going to be moving around this year.”
Wilkerson said they’ve been catering tailgates for the past eight years.
“Normally we do full-service tailgates,” he described. “We’ll have staff out there serving under the tents and keeping everything stocked up, so it’s going to look a lot different.”
Though the two companies won’t be able to do their business as usual, it’s not stopping them from offering services completely.
“We will offer some single game off-campus services,” Vickers explained. “If somebody wants to tailgate at home, or if a business wants to have a tent and TVs and stuff set up, we do have individual game packages that we will be offering, and hopefully we’ll be able to employ some of our student workers that way.”
“We’re fortunate to still have some other stuff going on, but we’re going to really try to focus on doing drop-off’s to peoples houses,” said Wilkerson, “People are still going to have small get together’s at home, so it’s still going to provide an avenue for us to provide some services.”