New York’s March Madness: The state’s curfew affecting sports business

Updated: Mar. 27, 2021 at 10:30 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - In sports, March is known for madness. While many North Country residents are Syracuse fans, they’ll likely be cheering on the Orange in it’s Sweet 16 game from home.

Due to New York’s curfew on bars and restaurants, establishments are forced to close at 11:00 PM. North Country Assemblyman Mark Walczyk says he wants to see the curfew lifted.

“The entire hospitality industry has been struggling, and begging. And it’s sad that they have to get to his point, where they’re begging for permission to stay open for a little bit longer, so that fans can watch the game,” said Walczyk.

At Watertown’s Pearl Street Pub, the games are on, but the bartender says that doesn’t mean a busier bar.

“Knowing that everything closes at 11:00, more people just rather stay home and do what they want then,” said Jocelyn Wilson, Bartender at Pearl Street Pub.

With Syracuse’s game starting an hour before curfew on Saturday, one Orange fan says going out just isn’t worth it.

“I would probably be out at night to watch this game. We’re going to be done at, obviously halftime. So, where are you going to go? Might as well be home,” said Mark Cloonan, a Pearl Street Pub patron.

Assemblyman Walczyk says there has been a push in the New York State Assembly to lift the curfew, something Governor Cuomo has the power to end at any time.

“When you’re saying that we’re supposed to follow the science, there is no science that says COVID goes to bed at 11:01 PM. We’re ready for the ridiculousness to end and I think that curfew should have ended a long time ago,” said Walczyk.

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