Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
For the fourth straight Saturday, Ohio State’s football team will kick off in the ‘Shoe at noon when they host the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The consecutive early game kickoff times are effecting students and local businesses around campus.
Zach Wilson, a fourth-year in sport and leisure studies and director of football operations for Block “O,” said he has seen a trend of students showing up later each week to the games.
“I believe that students are showing up later and later as the games go on because they are tired of waking up so early to tailgate, go to Skull Session, or come set up with us in Block ‘O,'” Wilson said. “The students are still showing up to the games and filling the Block, but the Block typically is not filled until after kickoff.”
Wilson said the early kickoff times are also making students reevaluate their weekend plans and rearrange their schedules.
“I know personally, I try and go to bed earlier on Fridays because I have to be at the stadium by 8 a.m. for noon games,” Wilson said. “Students either have to forfeit sleep or tailgating on Saturday mornings, so it definitely plays a role in a student’s weekend behavior.”
On the other hand, the early kickoff times are beneficial to some local businesses, including the Ugly Tuna Saloona in the South Campus Gateway, which opens at 6 a.m. for every home game.
Liam Van Vorhis, manager of Ugly Tuna Saloona, said business has improved with the string of early games.
“It’s actually been busier for us with the early games,” Van Vorhis said. “It’s been busier than previous years.”
This is also the first year students have had the option to buy all-season ticket packages, since students are in school throughout the whole season. On the quarter system, the first few games had to be purchased separately form the student package.
However, not all local businesses are thriving off the early games. Mad Mex is scheduled to open at 11 a.m. on gamedays, which doesn’t allow much time to do pregame business in the one-hour window before kickoff.
Michelle Narog, manager of Mad Mex, said the restaurant gets most of its business after the games.
“Sometimes there’s not really a whole lot of business from that 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. range,” Narog said. “I think the 3:30 games work out the best because people can come in to hang out before the game, and also come back after the game.”
Jeff Pejsa, a fourth-year in communication and Block “O” president, said the noon kickoff games have positive and negative effects on students.
“It’s nice to have some consistency in my schedule and you can take a nice postgame nap before your enjoying your Saturday night,” Pejsa said. “A disadvantage is that we are at the stadium very, very early and the noise level always seems to be higher at night.”