The sound of barking and the smell of beer, mozzarella sticks, and buffalo chicken wings fill the air. People decked out in orange and brown are chanting “here we go Brownies, here we go,” as they anxiously await the kickoff of the Cleveland Browns football game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019.
Flyers Bar and Grill in Parma is a popular place for hometown Browns fans to take in the action of their favorite football team without being at First Energy Stadium.
“The atmosphere of the bar and grill is very local, meaning, it does not have the corporate feel to the space, menu, and drinks,” said owner Thomas Chung.
Chung, 45, has owned the restaurant since March of 2019 making this particular establishment a fairly new venture.
“Local bars combat the need to be connected to the digital world because you interact with another human being that is sharing the same experiences with you in real time and this is definitely increased when there are sports on television,” Chung said.
Sports bars provide a place to watch an interesting social experiment happen in an increasingly digital world.
“Bars, and those that tend that bar, have to share the same space as the patron at the counter meaning they have a far deeper connection to the patron than any other service industry occupation and as a result are far more likely to connect on a more human level,” Chung said.
Any type of sporting event has an impact on a business regardless if it is an Ohio State game or a Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers, or Indians game.
“Based on revenue numbers and customer counts, when there is a major sporting event in season, there is an approximate 10 percent increase in patronage,” said Chung. “When compared to the success of the team, a good game/season will result in an additional average spend increase of 10 percent.”
Basketball tends to be the best sport for revenue because of the length of the season and the ratio of the games.
“For example, when LeBron James was with the Cavaliers, he drove up revenue an additional 10 percent because we were competitive the entire season,” said Chung.
The Cleveland Browns have not had the best record in recent years and the record of the team plays a role in the revenue of Chung’s business.
“When the Browns play well, the patrons spend well,” Chung said. “The 2019 season created huge expectations of winning and potentially entering the postseason and when the first half of the season did not pan out as expected, I literally had patrons leave the bar in frustration during games.”
Not every fan leaves when the team is doing poorly during the game. There are some loyal fans who stick around no matter what.
“As a whole, having professional sports teams is good for business,” Chung said.