While the Dallas Cowboys will be opening the 2021 NFL season more than 1,100 miles away from home as they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, North Texas businesses were ready for a busy night.
Some hosted watch parties Thursday for the 2021 NFL Kickoff game on NBC 5, including The Social House in Arlington.
Server Kai Peterson said they expected a full house.
“It’s going to be a party, I’m going to be honest. It’s going to be a big party,” Peterson said. “We make sure everything is stocked. We make sure our staff is great. We make sure everybody has a positive attitude, go through everything making sure tables are greeted at a decent time.”
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Juan Garcia and his friends were supposed to be in Tampa for the game, but he said their plans were changed due to a car crash on the way.
“We were driving out there. It’s not meant to be, but just hoping for a Cowboys win,” Garcia said. “I’m still going to make the best of it.”
Nearby, New Yorker Pizza & Pasta on N. Collins Street is used to seeing a game-day rush due to its close proximity to the AT&T Stadium. Manager Karla Salazar said the kickoff game Thursday night would bring fans to the restaurant.
“You can’t beat those games when it’s home games but honestly even when they’re not home, they bring us customers and we love that,” Salazar said. “A lot of people like to go home and watch the game at the comfort of their home and stuff. Then we get a lot of pick-up orders.”
Meanwhile, even though the game was played in Tampa Bay, Cowboys fans gathered outside AT&T Stadium at Miller Lite House to watch the game on big-screen TV's.
"I think out of 17 games we should go 10 and seven at the very least," Jessica Nevarez said. "I say 'very least,' hoping for better. Anything less than a playoff run is going to be disappointing, and I think Dak is capable of this."
NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this article.