ORLANDO, Fla. – Central Florida bars and restaurants are feeling the effects after major sports leagues announced suspensions in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Stephanie Carattini is the general manager of Lion’s Pride Soccer Pub and Grill. She said she was forced to make tough decisions after learning Major League Soccer announced Thursday it was suspending the season for 30 days.
"This was definitely devastating for us to hear this morning," Carattini said.
Carattini said she has 30 employees. She said half of their hours will be cut. She said she told seven staff members not to come into work on Thursday.
This is the latest blow for the downtown Orlando restaurant after the NBA announced it is suspending the season and events at the Amway Center are postponed.
“Tonight was going to be a Magic game, Saturday was a concert and it was our MLS game that got canceled, and Sunday was also a Magic game, so four major events in one week,” she said.
She estimates these canceled events will cost the restaurant almost $30,000 in lost revenue.
Carattini said she supports the decision to keep people safe and healthy, but she said it is having a trickle-down effect.
"I think a lot of businesses downtown are going to suffer," she said.
Carattini said 80% of their revenue comes from soccer games, so now the restaurant is looking at other ways to keep employees working and making money.
“We’re just trying to focus on private events, corporate events, networking events because we do have an upstairs space,” she said.
She adds she is hoping the coronavirus won’t have long-lasting impacts.
“I’m staying positive cause it’s a suspension, not a cancellation so that’s my hope that this is a fast hit and leaves us fast too,” Carattini said.