FRESNO, California (KSEE) — Die-hard Fresno State fans weren’t allowed in Bulldog Stadium for the season opener against Hawai’i but that didn’t stop them from watching the game.
It was a vibrant atmosphere at the Red Wave Inn and Dog House Grill as fans cheered on the dogs.
“Go Bulldogs!” exclaimed Joyce Forest. Her grandson Kamron Forest is a defensive back for Fresno State.
Joyce and her family traveled four hours from Fontana, California to Dog House Grill in Fresno to watch the season opener.
“It is a great distraction to be able to come out,” said Forest. “We could not see the football game on our local station so we drove out.”
Dog House Grill, which is only a mile from Bulldog Stadium, usually is packed full with Fresno State Fans during gameday. However, this year the bar was closed and the dining area limited to 25% capacity because of local and state COVID-19 restrictions.
“Even though we cannot watch it in person,” said alumni Javier and Ida Rose Macias. “At least we can watch here locally.”
The Red Wave Inn, another fan favorite, is down the street. Manager Armando Fierro said the pandemic has hit the business’s bottom line hard. He wants fans to rally behind the restaurant.
“We have been here since 1987,” said Fierro. “And we don’t place to go anywhere else. We just need the community to come out and support us so we can stay here and keep the lights on.”
Fans like Forest and the Macias’ plan to support local businesses until they can get back into the stands.
“We will definitely be attending once we are able to,” said Ida Rose.
“I’m from a football town so I can feel the energy,” said Forest. “It is really great.”
Fans will not be allowed in the stadium and restaurants will have to be at 25% capacity or less until Fresno County meets the state’s metric to get into the orange tier. Right now, the county is in the tier above it, the red tier.