Jan 192006
Authors: Mike Donovan

"People love Crown Royal, Jagermeister and Jim Beam for football games. Football fans want shooters, not single malts," Mat Dinsmore, managing partner at Wilbur's Total Beverage.

Thanks to the Broncos playoff run, local bars and liquor stores were gearing up Thursday for an increase in business for this weekend's Broncos game.

Fort Collins sports bars were expecting a definite rise in their business for the weekend. Pete Borba, the owner of Sullivan's Sports Tavern, expected the crowd drawn by Sunday's game to pack the tavern for hours.

"The Bronco playoff games definitely fill up the bar. We are expecting a 100 percent business increase," Borba said.

The Broncos are scheduled to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Invesco Field at Mile High. Those unable to attend can watch the game on CBS at home or at an array of local bars and restaurants.

Washington's Bar and Grill ordered extra food in anticipation of the game. General manager Tiffany Pellin expects attendance to increase before, during and after the game.

"Even with our drink specials, we still expect a 30 percent increase in customers throughout the day," Pellin said.

While liquor stores are closed on Sundays due to state law, liquor stores hope Saturday will provide a large boost in sales. Mat Dinsmore, managing partner at Wilbur's Total Beverage, is expecting a rush in sales on Saturday, especially for hard liquor.

"People love Crown Royal, Jagermeister and Jim Beam for football games. Football fans want shooters, not single malts," Dinsmore said.

While the AFC Championship helps local bars and liquor stores, a Super Bowl appearance by the Broncos would provide a major boost to area businesses. The owner of South College Liquors, Judy Cook , is hoping for a Bronco win on Sunday because of the upswing a Super Bowl XL appearance would provide.

"A Bronco Super Bowl would be like another Christmas for our store," Cook said .

Super Bowl XL takes place Sunday, Feb. 5, at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. A Super Bowl appearance would also provide a boost for sporting goods stores around the area.

Tom Lucero , operations manager at Gart Sports, said merchandise sales would take a large increase only if the Broncos win the AFC Championship.

"Our merchandise sales would go through the roof if we sold AFC champion shirts," Lucero said. "A Super Bowl championship would be phenomenal for business."

CSU students are getting ready for the Broncos and Steelers game. Sam Chesser , a freshman technical journalism major, started preparing for the game ever since the Broncos knocked off the New England Patriots last Saturday night, 27-13.

"I have already bought my nachos and my beer for the game," Chesser said. "Typical football food to watch my Broncos take care of business."

Sunday's game will also feature four former CSU Rams. Backup quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt and backup fullback Cecil Sapp will suit up for the Broncos. CSU alums Joey Porter and Clark Haggans lead the Steelers in sacks with 11 and nine, respectively. Having ex-Rams in the game will provide extra interest among CSU students.

"I hope they put Van Pelt in for a play, it would be nice to see a Ram on the Broncos side," said senior horticulture major Dan Limbert.

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