Fans and businesses hit hard by Spartan losses

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EAST LANSING (WLNS) – For many people in East Lansing, it’s a tough loss to swallow for Michigan State in March.

“I shredded my bracket. I don’t ever look at that on ESPN.com,” Spartan fan Terry Fleeks said.

“My bracket is in my pocket but I don’t really care much about it,” Jeff Brandt said.

All that heartbreak affects sports bars like Reno’s East.

“We were expecting a good few weeks of great business,” Reno’s East General Manager Helen Widener said.

But with no men’s game today it was pretty empty around lunchtime.

“We definitely get people in for the tournament, for the rest of their brackets and some odd games out there for sure, but it’s not gonna be the same by any means,” Widener said.

“I’m sure they were gonna have a big day today and that’s not the case,” Brandt said.

Jeff Brandt just came for a cold beer.

“I don’t really care as much. Just kinda wanna hang out and have a beer and you know see what’s on,” Brandt said.

Over at Buffalo Wild wings, Michael Stump is there to celebrate his stepson’s birthday.

“We’re not here to watch the tournament,” Stump said. “We’re here to more celebrate than the basketball.”

While he doesn’t care much for the tournament anymore, he feels “for retailers and all of the clothing and so on and so forth down to the trinkets you have in your car,” Stump said.

At the Student Book Store, Assistant Manager Mike Wylie says their sales will be lower, but “as a business in the community benefit year round from both Michigan State being here and sports in general,” Wylie said.

And there are still fans looking for jerseys.

“Trying to get Valentine’s jersey truthfully,” customer Justin Trevino said.

Wylie has a positive outlook on it all.

“You gotta take some of the greater good with a little bit of the lesser bad,” Wylie said.

And, Spartan fans are already looking forward to next year.

“I’m still kind of bummed but I’m still optimistic about next year,” Fleeks said.

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