BOCA RATON, Fla. — Whether inside the stadium or out watching the game with fellow fans, the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl has taken on a different feel.
Rob Small is the Tuesday night bartender at the Lion and Eagle English Pub. The place isn't packed with the bowl game going on. It's a very different atmosphere than just a year ago.
"We were busy," Small said. "It was a lot of fun. We were busy before, pregame and post-game."
Inside FAU Stadium, seating is reduced to a fraction of its 30,000 capacity. COVID-19 protocols are limiting just how many people can cheer on UCF and BYU.
Small said he is making the best of these trying times.
"Which is actually kind of OK, because with the rules and regulations and everything, it's a little bit easier to not be super busy, so you don't have to worry about the stress of it," he said.
So, this time around they're depending more on locals like Bonnie Berstein. She's a football fan to her heart.
"It makes it a little bit more intimate," she said. "We all tend to know each other in here. Get the regulars to come in for tacos on Tuesday."
Small said once the game is over, he's expecting a larger crowd for those who made their way to South Florida.
"We're lucky," he said. "We're walking distance from a couple of hotels, so a lot of people like to frequent here."