SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — When the Syracuse men’s basketball team takes the court for their season opening scrimmage against Pace University on Wednesday, it will be the first time they are doing so in over a year. While it has been a struggle at times for local businesses, two Syracuse staples are excited for the team’s return.
Bill Nester is one of the managers at Manny’s, a store that sells Syracuse University apparel. He said that the return of fans in the stands means good things for the store.
“We get big crowds here and they all come in and shop for Syracuse items,” Nester said. “You know, old alumni come back to see a game or two, people who haven’t been here in five or 10 years.”
Fans back in the stands of the Carrier Dome mean a student section for every game. Student sections mean theme nights, where all of the students wear the same color. That means that more apparel is bought from places like Manny’s.
“You know, orange out, white out, navy out they all help,” Nester said. “The students love to come down here and pick up little pieces of their game day wear.”
The return of basketball games is also a welcome sight to Jerry Dellas, co-owner of Varsity Pizza in Syracuse. He said that on game days, they can get three times the amount of customers than on a usual night. His employees love it too. Three times the customers means three times the staff.
“I’ll have two people in the pizza department on a regular night,” Dellas said. “I’ll have five people on a game night. I’ll have two people on the grill, two on salad, on a regular night. I could have six people. . . on a game night.”
The staffs of both places said they are excited for their businesses, but also just excited as fans to see the team in person. Nester said his staff loves going to the games and following the team.