Downtown businesses worried about possible UofL 'death penalty'

Is this the end of UofL basketball? Business owners worry

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The excitement of basketball season.

It draws thousands of fans to the KFC Yum! Center every year. Now, many business owners are asking what if?

“We don't even know if we're going to survive without it honestly,” Ernesto Rivera, El Barrio General Manager, said.

El Barrio opened in May, right across the street from the home of the Cards. And they say that's why they chose the location.

“People was mentioning the concerts and other venues but it's not like basketball season because it's two or three times a week versus one concert a week,” Rivera said.

Other Main Street businesses like O'Shea's and Doc Crow's have experiences the basketball madness.  But This will be El Barrio's first basketball season and its business they're banking on.

“Everything we're hearing from the neighbors is, 'just wait, just wait, it's going to get great.  It's going to be busy.  All of the basketball fans are coming. and you're going to have a lot of customers day and night,'” Rivera said. 

After the announcement of this latest investigation, Rivera says they're worried.

“We're growing. We're seeing the numbers getting better. But with the basketball season, we were going to be a lot stronger.  We were going to keep moving forward,” he said.

It's still unclear what these allegations will mean for UofL basketball in the eyes of the NCAA but it's a scary 'what if' for many downtown businesses.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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