Thousands head to downtown businesses to watch UofL vs. UK game

Thousands head to downtown businesses to watch UofL vs. UK game

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The biggest rivalry in the country brought thousands of fans to the KFC Yum! Center.

Everywhere you looked in Louisville Saturday, blue or red sports gear was all around.

“This is one of the biggest days of the year for us,” said George Timmering.

George Timmering is the owner operator of Bearno’s Pizza on West Main Street.

This year’s UofL versus UK game still brought fans down to the bars and restaurants downtown near the arena.

“We’re at half capacity. Obviously, we want to have social distancing and safe environment for the customers,” Timmering said.

In a non-pandemic year, 20,000 fans are allowed to pack the KFC Yum! Center. Bearno’s would normally have 230 people watching the game, eating and drinking.

This year only 3,000 fans were allowed inside the arena and restaurants and bars operated at 50 percent capacity.

“We’re happy to at least have something going on today. It’s 3,000 people and that’s better than zero,” Timmering said.

One of those lucky enough to get inside of the game is Felicia Rosemond. She’s the mother of Louisville’s Carlik Jones.

Jones is ranked by ESPN as one of the top 25 college basketball players in the nation. His mother said Saturday’s match-up means a lot for their family and city.

“He’s excited because obviously he’ll be able to represent Louisville in a rivalry game,” she said. “He just recently returned back from dealing with COVID, so he’s excited to be back on the court and competing against the Kentucky Wildcats.”

For these businesses, the fans and basketball are bringing hope during the pandemic.

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