Louisville businesses worry allegations will harm their game-day crowd

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WKYT)- Louisville businesses around the KFC Yum! Center are keeping a close eye on the news surrounding the Louisville basketball program and hoping the fallout doesn't harm their current and future revenue.

Residents of Kentucky's largest city took lunch breaks early on Wednesday to watch the press conference that officially announced the suspension of Coach Rick Pitino and Athletics Director Tom Jurich. Some fans, like John Zeydel, say this could be a good wake-up call for the UofL athletics programs.

"Having this on top of the scandal that happened just before it does set a precedent and Louisville needs to change its ways," Zeydel said.

"I'm disappointed. I've been a Louisville fan my whole life," said Eliza Porter.

Restaurant owners that sit in the shadows of the Yum! Center all say basketball season is their busiest time of the year. Eliza Porter with O'Sheas Public House says the news is hard to hear and that she must now look at how possible NCAA punishment for the program could hurt her business.

"We get a lot of traffic from people going to and from games that would honestly decrease," said Porter.

Porter says while the businesses around the area should be able to survive, they will have to look at changing their marketing tactics.

"It's unfortunate that certain individuals followed a greedy path that impacts so many people," said Zeydel.

Another big question and a big 'if' surround the home of the Cardinals.

"Maybe not having Louisville in the yum center opens it up to a pro team or other things," said Mark Fitzgerald.

Everyone in the downtown agreeing if a punishment is handed down forcing Louisville to sit out, or even worse the NCAA death penalty, it will not only take away a great amount of revenue but a piece of their city and history.

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