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Local sports bars host watch parties for the 'big game' amid the pandemic

Posted at 9:07 PM, Feb 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-07 22:09:12-05

CENTRAL TEXAS — You don’t have to like or even know the game of football to know that game days are all about the experience.

“For football fans, it's the Super Bowl, the one time of the year everybody gets together,” Muhammad Smith, a security guard at Fubar, a sports bar in Copperas Cove said. “Even if you’re not a football fan, there’s food, drinks...it’s just the environment.”

The Super Bowl is one many didn’t think we’d be watching this year due to COVID-19. .

That's why local sports bar owner CJ Nickens said he was throwing a watch party to celebrate.

”We are a sports bar, so it just makes sense,” Nickens explained. “And you're right, there's a lot going on and people do need their little moments of normality within reason.”

Even with social distancing guidelines and 50% capacity limits for non-essential businesses across most of Central Texas, bars made it work in time for kickoff.

”Everybody has to have a mask on unless they’re sitting at a table, we check the temperature at the door, everybody gets hand sanitizer, like on a regular day,” Smith explained. “We feel like we'd be able to pull it off.”

Meanwhile, the pandemic carries on and Nickens believed that having a watch party would be good for the community.

“We can't just stop living because things are going on, so long as we follow the rules and we're very proactive in doing such, it's safe,” he added.

If you watched the game from the comfort of your own couch with loved ones by your side, health officials stressed the importance of staying safe.

“Think about if you’re having a party, limit it, not having as many people, making sure you’re spread out,” Kelly Craine with the Waco-McLennan Public Health District said. “Think about different ways to make sure that everyone remains safe.”