March Madness fun kills productivity, boosts business

By: Kate Burgess Email
By: Kate Burgess Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- As soon as the ball went up, orders at sports bars went in.

The big question is, are you one of the millions of people who skipped out on work and what excuse did you give your boss?

Some of those people spent their day at Cool Beans Bar and Grill off the Cumberland Avenue strip in Knoxville.

That's because for a lot of people "March Madness" means brackets, basketball and cold beer. A study by Challenger, Gray & Christmas shows people spend an average hour and a half per day watching basketball and checking brackets during these three weeks instead of doing their work.

Basketball fan Rob Whited told us, "Every single year I watch probably 80% of the games."

On a regular Thursday afternoon the UT PhD student would be studying or teaching class.

"I have a big paper due at the end of the semester I should probably be working on. I told a professor I'd do some stuff for him. I should probably be doing that...But I can take care of all that later," he continued.

All that will have to wait. For the next three weeks Whited plans to be close to a TV following his favorite teams. He's even condensing his work week.

"Fortunately the games are only on Thursday through Sunday. Monday through Wednesday I can probably do some work," Whited reasoned.

One group of vet students wasn't thinking much about work either. They took an extra long lunch to watch the first tourney game.

"We're not supposed to be here right now. We should be in class right now," said 3rd year student Sarah Atkinson.

It's welcome business for Cool Beans.

"We have a lot more people coming in to watch the games. And it's basketball season so everybody likes to have a cold beer and watch the games with a bunch of people," said manager Andrew St. Charles.


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