SCRANTON — The NCAA sanctions against Penn State are likely to affect fans and businesses well beyond Centre County. As the Nittany Lions prepare for a very different football season this fall, business owners in Lackawanna County are also preparing for a different kind of year.
John Madden owns Travelworld travel agency in Scranton. He says winter is his slow season. But, trips to Penn State bowl games help boost business during that time.
“You’ve got to remember Penn State fans are very loyal and spend a lot of money, and they always go to bowl games. It is going to hurt us, it’s going to hurt us quite a bit,” Madden said.
Madden said Travelworld sent about 50 people from the Scranton area to Dallas, Texas in January to see Penn State play in the Ticket City Bowl. Bowl games are a big money-maker for the universities and businesses that cash in on the hype.
But, there will be no bowl games for the Nittany Lions for the next four years. A penalty from the NCAA after accusations that top leaders at Penn State covered up Jerry Sandusky’s Sexual Abuse.
Other business owners feel the NCAA sanctions against Penn State have the potential to affect businesses miles away from State College which sell Penn State merchandise.
“I do notice that when they’re winning we do a little bit better, so I always root for them if just for that,” said Scott Tinkelman from Kevin’s clothing store in Scranton.
Tinkelman says they’ve already had orders for Nittany Lion gear for the fall. The better the football team does, the better their sales.
He’s concerned business will be a bit slower this season. But, overall believes Penn State fans will stay loyal to his store and to the school.
“It’s amazing how much its affected everything in such a short amount of time, so I’m not really sure, but at least I think for our business it won’t really impact sales,” added Tinkelman.
But, Tinkelman said, we will see what the new Penn State season brings.