Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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November 24, 2012

Notre Dame’s football success helps local businesses

GOSHEN — A winning Notre Dame season doesn’t mean just good football — it means good sales, according to Buffalo Wild Wings General Manager Bethany Keuper.

Keuper said the restaurant opened early from its remodeling for the first Notre Dame game of the season in Ireland, and business has only grown with each of the team’s 11 wins.

“We’ve been full even for home games,” Keuper said. “That’s normal for the bar area, but out here (in the dining room), not so much.”

Keuper said she’s predicting standing room only for tonight’s game against the University of Southern California Trojans. The University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish are undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the country headed into their last game of the regular season, and Keuper said the restaurant will be packed.

“We’re expecting a big crowd because it’s a night game and the last of the season,” she said.

The game has taken some preparation, Keuper said. Notre Dame brings a lot of hungry and thirsty fans to the restaurant, and Keuper said she’s prepared to meet them.

“We’re making sure we’re properly staffed, and we’ve placed a bigger food order, and liquor order, as well as beer,” she said. “We’re getting the staff hyped up, too. Sales are better if they win.”

Though some in the community grumble about Notre Dame, Keuper said she has heard only good things about the attention to the games at Buffalo Wild Wings.

The crowd is, after all, there to see the Irish play, she said.

“It’s a small town crowd,” she said. “Most people, if they’re here, are here to watch the game. Sometimes were get one or two fans who come for other games, but people are really here for Notre Dame.”

Constant Spring Manager and bartender Mark Yoder said the bar does better when the Notre Dame football team does better, too.

“People tend to stick around a bit longer, rather than leave right away,” he said.

Constant Spring didn’t show last week’s game because it was played before the bar opened, but the atmosphere was still charged for Notre Dame last week as customers watched the No. 1 and 2 teams, Kansas State and Oregon, fall to underdog opponents, sending Notre Dame to the No. 1 spot.

“People were pretty ecstatic in here,” he said.

The Notre Dame-USC game is a night game and Yoder said he plans on the game being on the bar’s televisions come kickoff time.

“We have mostly regulars coming in who like Notre Dame football, but you also have people coming in who are looking to watch the game,” he said.

Clothing, memorabilia sales increase

It’s not just beer and wings that people are buying en masse as Notre Dame stacks up wins. Clothing, signs and other memorabilia are selling better through the winning season, according to Shazeen Sayani, employee at Leather and More in Concord Mall.

“We’ve had a lot of people asking about Notre Dame stuff,” Sayani said from behind the counter at the store. Some Notre Dame signs dotted the store walls, but not many were left.

“We had a lot of framed pictures of the stadium, but those have all sold out,” she said. “We’ve also had a lot of people ask about Notre Dame jackets.”

Selling Notre Dame apparel isn’t something new for the store, which has been open for almost three years, Sayani said. What is new is the demand.

“We sell a lot of stuff whether they win or lose,” she said. “People are asking about it a lot more now, though.”

Tonight’s game

WHAT: No. 1 Notre Dame (11-0) vs. USC (7-4)

WHEN: Today at 8 p.m.

WHERE: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles

TV: WBND-TV (ABC)

RADIO: WSBT (960 AM, 96.1 FM), WNSN (101.5)

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