Orange County

How local bars are preparing for Super Bowl weekend crowds amid mandated pandemic protocols

ORLANDO, Fla. — The big game on Sunday could lead to big problems as Central Florida works to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Health officials are worried about people’s Super Bowl plans, whether they involve gathering at home or out at bars.

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Local bar owners said they’re preparing for a busier football Sunday than usual during a pandemic with reservations to ensure they’re not too crowded.

And others said this is a chance to attract new customers by showing them what they’re doing right.

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Joe Foranoce Jr., the director of operations for Walk-Ons Sports Bistreaux, said he knows partitions and masks may not be enough if crowds are large on Super Bowl Sunday.

He said he’s prepared to turn people away if needed to maintain seat spacing and reduced capacity.

READ: CDC issues Super Bowl watch party guidelines amid COVID-19 pandemic

Because of expected crowds for some bars, especially sports bars, Orange County leaders said strike teams will be out this weekend to ensure compliance.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.