Tempe's Mill Avenue anticipates impact of college football cancellation

Saturdays on Mill Avenue in Tempe are almost as well attended as the games at Sun Devil Stadium, but this year, there will be no fans cheering on the Arizona State University Sun Devils in the fall.

That's because there won't be any games.

“Home college football games, it’s our bread and butter," says ASU alumni Troy Scoma.

He owns the Cactus Sports apparel shop on Mill Avenue.

Scoma is disappointed in the announcement by the Pac-12 on Aug. 11 to cancel the fall football season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s pretty depressing. But we kinda expected it. There’s just so many variables and it’ll be tough to keep everyone safe," he said.

It’ll be tough on the other businesses, too.

Restaurants have had to shut down and reopen at limited capacity. Now with no games, it'll hurt that much more.

Fans will also be missing out on a college tradition.

“Going to ASU, I was hyped to go to the games, but with COVID coming, I knew this was going to happen all along honestly," said incoming freshman at ASU, Brennon Wilcox.

ASU senior, Frankie Lopez, says he's not happy about the news either, saying, “I think it’s a bummer but I do think if they’re being safe, yes. I think it could still happen if we all decide to be safe."

Scoma says he hopes people will stay safe and healthy so people can get back to their everyday lives, including ASU students.

"I hope everyone can stay safe and we don’t have another spike in cases. At least the kids are here, parents are moving them in; and we’ve seen some traffic for that," he said.

A fire knocked Doc & Eddys sports bar in Tempe out for more than 16 months. They rebuilt, set up curbside takeaways, and were hoping to welcome customers back inside to watch some Sun Devil football this fall.

“Wow," was owner Sean Cleary's reaction when he first heard the news.

The postponement of the fall season is another roadblock during a tough year for his business.

“I understand everything with COVID-19, but I was very shocked not to have especially Pac-12 ASU on Saturdays and Fridays. It’s going to be very, very odd," he said.