Local restaurants cheering for big boost in business on Opening Day of the NFL

BRISTOL, Va. and Tenn. - For die-hard football fans, Opening day of the NFL is like waking up on Christmas morning. While some fans cheer at home, others spend the day cheering with strangers at local restaurants or bars.

News 5 checked and local restaurants say once the season starts, it's non-stop business on Sunday and Monday nights.

Sporting green and white, Eric and Tracey Childress have a tradition sitting at a certain table at Macado's every Sunday afternoon once football season starts, "We have a bunch of people come out, friends, people we see here just during football season."

But after kick-off it's not just fans cheering, local restaurants like Macado's, cheer for the big boost in business. "On Sundays we sell a lot of wings, a lot of beer, and a lot of burgers," said manager Kristen Helton.

With about a 30% increase in sales, Helton says there's a lot of planning the restaurant does to keep fans happy, "We have a map of where all the games are so that we can be organized. So when people come in the door we can immediately say 'Hey you're an Eagles fan, we have the Eagles game over here.'"

But some football fans would rather have a front-row seat at home. The phone rings off the hook Sunday afternoons at Alfredo's Restaurant with people placing pick-up orders and deliveries, which keeps drivers especially busy. "I don't count [how many miles drivers drive] but I have a driver that tells me 'I put 130 miles today!' and I said OK that's good. Sometimes [they drive] 130 miles maybe over 100," said owner Mo Elshouky.

But there's a toss-up when it comes to what fans love to order, "Some people like wings, some like pizza, and some like pizza and wings."

For lifelong fans, this first game is also the kick-off to season long superstitions. "If they win today, he will have this same outfit on every game," added Tracey Childress.

Chances are you're not just cheering for your favorite team, but your Fantasy Football team as well. News 5 did a little more digging and according to a Yahoo! Sports survey: 35% of Fantasy Football players have rooted against their favorite team if they had a Fantasy player on the opposing team. The average player spends about four hours a week preparing for the next game, and 19% of people polled would give up their cell phone for the season to simply win their league.

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