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Local bars, restaurants gear up for football season

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It's football time in Tennessee! The Vols are took on Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Monday night.

While many local fans made the trip to Mercedes Benz stadium, others went to local restaurants and bars to catch the big game.

News 5 looked at what football season means for businesses in our area.

There's no shortage of Tennessee fans, watching the Vols first game of the season. That means if you were at a restaurant or bar, this Labor Day, you probably heard a lot of 'Rocky Top.'

That's music to the ears of Dave McDaniel, a Vol fan and the general manager of YeeHaw Brewery.

"Especially early season before we start losing, it's always really electric," he said.

McDaniel added game days are always their busiest.

"It's not hard to bring in a Tennessee crowd," he said. "They have such a loyal following around here that if you've got the game on, and you've got cold beer, they just show up!"

Fans from across the region made their way to downtown Johnson City.

"What a beautiful day to get out, show off Johnson City," Randy Sears said. "The businesses are open, that's fantastic."

Sears is from North Carolina. He was in town visiting his son Rob, who is a student at UT.

"Come here, get a few beers, play a little corn hole, grill up some food - it's the only way to do it!" Jacob Alyward said.

Right across the state line, it's a similar story at Quaker Steak & Lube in Bristol, Virginia. Area general manager Brad Smith said game day means not just extra staffing, but also a lot more food.

Smith said they make sure they don't run out of one of their best sellers - their wings.

"Usually a couple of extra cases - we'll probably go through an extra 100-150 pounds of wings on a day like today," he said.

Businesses agreed their sales often line up with how well the Vols are doing. So we asked fans for their season predictions.

"I really like Butch Jones and his coaching, so I think we'll have a really good season," Ashley McMillan said.

"It's kind of up in the air because we have so many new players," Rob Sears said.

While some took the safe route, others have their eyes already set on the title.

"Undefeated baby! National champions - undefeated!" McDaniel said. "They've got the team to do it, the coaching staff is all there," Alyward added. "They're taking it all the way this year."

PJ Johnson and Casey Goetz are at the game. They will have a Facebook live video on our WCYB page, right after the game. They'll have highlights and a full report, Tuesday morning on News 5.

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