J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill, known for its signature Irish nachos, sits less than a mile from the home stadiums of the Dallas Cowboys football team and the Texas Rangers baseball team in Arlington, Texas.
For years, fans have converged on J. Gilligan’s every game day, spending as much as $350,000 a year on food, beer and shuttle service to Cowboys games. This year’s Rangers opening day, with no fans allowed because of the pandemic, brought maybe 10 customers, owner Randy Ford said.
“It’s just knocked our legs out from under us,” Ford, 70, said.
The pandemic has dealt a hammer blow to the entire sports industry and its dependent businesses, from restaurants and hotels to car rentals. That, in turn, hurts cities and states that have less tax revenue coming in for needed community services.
The fragile XFL football league, which included the Arlington-based Dallas Renegades, was thrown…