Big Game Means Big Dough

ST. MARYS — Keith Ley, manager at Villa Nova in St. Marys, says Super Bowl Sunday provides a little economic boost for businesses that make pizza and other foods popular with sports fans.

“It’s a little perk,” Ley said. “There’s a slow down after Christmas and before spring. It’s nice to know you’ll get that February Super Bowl money.”

He’s ordered extra food, and has one extra person on staff in the kitchen and another extra in the drive thru. Ley said he expects to have more deliveries than he generally has as people don’t like leave the television during the game.

Ley isn’t the only proprietor who will be happy for a little cash inflation thanks to the big game. The Associated Press reports 4.4 million pizzas will be sold, 1.25 billion wings consumed, and 50 million cases of beer ingested on Sunday. An estimate 6 percent of Americans will call out of work on Monday.

For people who want to stay in front of the TV without having a mess at their house, sports bars are expecting a big crowd.

Donna Lee, general manager at Buffalo Wild Wings in St. Marys, said that while last year the sports bar didn’t have a lot happening thanks to having just opened, this year will feel like their first big game.

“We’re expecting to be packed,” Lee said. “All 50 screens will show the game. It’s Happy Hour all day.”

She said she’s ordered extra food and scheduled 25 people to work Sunday.

“That’s about 10 more than normal,” she said.

It’s also a big night for the St. Marys Touchdown Club, said club president Tom Knous, where three big-screen TVs will show the game, while guests will pay a cover for all the food they want to eat, including chicken, chili, beef, deer sausage and snacks. People can bring their own beverages.

“It’s football’s last big hurrah for the year,” Knous said.

While the group made the party members-only last year, Knous said that didn’t discourage people from buying a membership to attend.

Knous said the members, if not at the club, would be at each others’ house. The main attraction of the club is not having to clean up. The excitement, Knous said, comes from who is in the big game.

“If your team’s not in it, you’re just hanging out, making sure you see the high dollar commercials,” Knous said.

While he doesn’t know any die hard 49ers or Ravens fans, Knous said, there’s a Michigan connection in the game.

“There are some Michigan fans here,” he said. “I’m leaning toward 49ers even though they are not my team.”

The downside of any big event, however, is the potential for fans to over-indulge and then drive home.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, last year’s Super Bowl netted 46 charges for people accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. During the 24-hour period of the Super Bowl, three fatalities and 193 injuries resulted from traffic accidents.

“While we want people to enjoy the big game, we want them to do so responsibly,” Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Thomas Charles said in a news release. “We want everyone to take the appropriate steps to ensure they get home safely.”

OHSP said the state will have 81 law enforcement agencies conducting 1,925 hours of enforcement activity and 1,100 hours of saturation patrols. The cost of extra patrols will be funded by federal grants.