Fans hit local sports bars as Patriots return to Sunday lineup

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Patriots finally got their game in against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, after being postponed twice.

For Pats fans, cheering on the team from home provides much needed entertainment during this pandemic.

“Being able to sit down on a Sunday afternoon and watch the Patriots, we can’t go places we want to go, so having that available to us so we can sit down and watch the game together it’s nice having that little sense of normal now,” said Dave Kroke of Ludlow.

Having the Patriots back in action is huge for local sports bars, especially those that only have indoor seating. TD’s Sports Pub in Chicopee told 22News how much of a difference it makes when the Patriots are part of the Sunday football lineup.

“It’s definitely going to be a bigger turnaround from it not happening,” said bartender Jessie Kozikis. “We’ll get a pretty large crowd in here to watch the game on the projector or the TVs.”

Pats fans were glad to see Cam Newton healthy and back on the field but they do worry about the future impact of COVID-19 on the NFL season. Some are predicting a shorter season.

“Seeing how easily we can lose a key player like Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore just in a matter of a couple of days. I don’t think they’re going to get every single game in. I don’t think every game is going to happen,” Kroke told 22News.

As of now, the NFL still plans to complete a full season and they’ve shown no interest in trying out a bubble concept, like the NBA and NHL has done.

There is still no word as to when and if fans will be allowed back at Gillette Stadium.

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