Cumberland Avenue businesses benefit during UT season opener

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Thursday, the day of the UT home opener against Appalachian State, was a big day for downtown businesses as thousands of people headed into town to tailgate, go to the game or watch it at a nearby sports bar.

The construction and rain were no problems for businesses. Managers say things were steady, even though they didn’t expect it. Sandra Hobbs, the general manager of Stefano’s, was pleasantly surprised.

“For the first home game we’re really pleased,” she said.

The constant flow of traffic translated into constant business.

Related story: Tennessee defeats App State 13-20 in overtime

“It has really truthfully been a good game. I didn’t of course know what to expect. This is the first game we’ve had in about 40 years on a Thursday, but I’m very pleased what we’ve done before the game,” said Hobbs.

Things have been going well for Jason’s Deli, too.

“We’re thriving just as well as ever. The rain is not slowing anybody down,” said Latesha Patterson, the restaurant’s general manager.

These businesses are staying tough no matter what. Neither rain nor will construction will knock them down.

“I think we pretty much adapted to the construction. It’s been around for a minute. It slowed us down at first, but I think Knoxville is just adapting to it and hopefully we’ll be better for it eventually,” said Patterson.

Business owners say they’re grateful for the steady business and they hope it stays this way for the rest of the season.

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