Senator Mannion to Governor Cuomo: Extend Bar and Restaurant Hours in Central NY so they can Host Syracuse Fans for Saturday Night Sweet 16 Game

Late tipoff on Saturday can help local businesses if the closing time is waived  

Syracuse, NY – Senator John W. Mannion (D-Geddes) today sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting extended hours for bars and restaurants to accommodate the Syracuse University Men’s Basketball Sweet 16 tipoff at 9:55 P.M. this Saturday.

Statement from Senator John W. Mannion:

John W. Mannion

“Syracuse University dancing into the Sweet 16 is cause for statewide pride and celebration, but if bars and restaurants are forced to close early we’re missing a golden opportunity to support struggling businesses,” said Senator Mannion. “Patrons and businesses know how to follow the public health protocols that keep everyone safe. Forcing these establishments to close at an arbitrary time on what could be their biggest night in over a year is punitive and unnecessary. Let’s show Central New York businesses that their government supports them and allow them to stay open for the big game.”

Text of Letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo:

March 22, 2021

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Gov. State of New York
Executive Chamber
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo,

On Saturday, the Syracuse Orange will tip-off their NCAA Sweet 16 contest at 9:55 PM. I write to request waivers for Central New York bars and restaurants until the conclusion of this game.

As we mourn all that we have lost to the pandemic, there have been few occasions worthy of celebration. The healing power of community cannot be underestimated. The resilience displayed by our hometown team as it has advanced in the NCAA Tournament has given our community something to celebrate.

Central New York has served as a leader in its response to this pandemic, with an infection rate of approximately one percent. Vaccine administration has consistently been among the highest in the state. Occupancy and distancing guidelines have been strictly adhered to, just as they would continue to be if this waiver is granted. The only difference would be an extension of a few hours, which would mean a great deal to fans and struggling businesses.

Syracuse University athletics have always served as both a source of pride and an economic engine. More than ever, we are in need of both. Bars and restaurants have suffered greatly during the pandemic and have had to adapt to remain open. I can attest to the fact that these small businesses have responsibly followed the guidelines as directed by the state; most experienced substantial economic loss as a result of an extended Orange Zone designation, to no fault of their own.

In no way is the existing threat of this pandemic lost on me. This is not a request to end common sense safety protocols. The 50th Senate District has led the way in responsible citizenship during COVID-19. This is a request to allow our community to put that responsibility on display for a couple of extra hours.

The importance of Syracuse Basketball – both the men’s and women’s teams – to our region cannot be overstated. We must also support the small businesses that are the backbone of our economy.

I strongly urge you to waive bar and restaurant closure times in Central New York so fans and businesses can safely celebrate this exceptional group of student athletes.


Senator John W. Mannion
50th Senatorial District