Restaurants Thrive During Big 10 Championship


It may not be bigger by the numbers, but there is definitely something different in the air for Saturday's Big 10 Championship Game.

"We get pretty packed for all games, but there's definitely a higher level of excitement tonight," said Aaron Weiner, general manager at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in East Lansing.

His restaurant holds 275 and it was filled to capacity Saturday night as fans packed the seats to watch their hometown Spartans take on Ohio State in Indianapolis.

Just before kickoff, lines were out the door. Management locked the doors and allowed one person in for every one that left.

"We really wanted to watch the game here and we knew it was going to be busy," said Darcy Wittinger, an MSU grad student. "We have friends they're not letting in now because they said they're already at capacity."

MSU Senior Melissa Basel and her friends arrived at 5:30 p.m. -- nearly three hours before kickoff -- to secure their spots.

"I don't think we would have got a seat here if we didn't get here so early," she said. "As soon as we got here it started filling up really quickly."

The story was expected to be the same at the Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe on Lake Lansing Rd.

"It's very special tonight," said Owner Steve Montanye. "I'm sure the whole community of East Lansing feels that way. We have extra staff on and we've upped our prep levels for food, so we're ready for a big night."

Though Montanye said the crowd wouldn't be on par with an average home game, he still expected 500-750 people filing through his doors.

"I like seeing a whole restaurant filled with people having a good time," he said, "and with that comes the revenue we work so hard for."


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