MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Looking ahead to The Big Game this Sunday, Rio Grande Valley business owners said they are expecting to see large crowds.

“Super Bowl, it wasn’t that great last year because of course we had limited seating,” said Oscar Guajardo, General Manager at the London Grill & Tavern in McAllen.  

Guajardo said their business struggled last year when there were more restrictions on bars and restaurants. He is hopeful for a better year especially with events like Sunday’s Big Game. 

“We’re looking forward to this year because now the numbers are full capacity. We’re having a BBQ, we’re having the Super Bowl party so hopefully, we will be able to have a good outcome,” said Guajardo.  

This year’s Big Game is expected to bring in $7.6 billion in bets according to the American Gaming Association. Local economist Teo Sepulveda with South Texas College said the impact on our economy is minimal.

“They, neither in pure and financial terms, they don’t benefit nor affect anything,” he said.

Sepulveda added that those financially impacted are the businesses handling the bets and the people placing them. Yet, one thing still affecting many businesses is the supply chain shortages. 

“All of the businesses and the supply chain started to make their plans long term trying to get ahead, mainly for an event like this that is a lot of money inflow in a short amount of time,” said Sepulveda.

Sports bars like the London Grill & Tavern are just looking forward to having larger crowds this weekend giving them a feel toward normalcy.

“Hopefully we can get past this pandemic and everyone go back to normal and we can go back to the glory days where we use to have full houses every day,” said Guajardo.