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Former Bearcat hopes College GameDay boosts local businesses

ESPN College GameDay preparing to broadcast from UC
Posted at 11:17 PM, Nov 03, 2021

CINCINNATI — College GameDay coming to the University of Cincinnati for the first time in show history is not just a win for the school — it's a score for Cincinnati businesses.

Still a few days away from kickoff, restaurant owners in the area said they are excited about the opportunity ESPN brings. At Alabama Que on Short Vine, former UC football player Dwan Ward is cooking up a recipe for success.

"I'm from Alabama, but I'm a Bearcat in and out," Ward said. "It's going to be crazy around here Saturday. GameDay picked a great place to come."

Ward, who was on the team in 1997 when the Bearcats ended a 47-year bowl drought, said he is excited for the opportunity the university has to be in the national spotlight.

"My senior season, the guys I graduated college with, we started the change of the culture of [UC] football," Ward said. "We ain't a pushover program no more — we're here to stay."

Beyond that, Ward said, he is hoping for a boost in sales this weekend. He said his restaurant — a BBQ joint with a menu featuring turkey tips, smoked chicken and pork rib tips — has already received 32 catering orders for Saturday and 19 for Friday.

While the Bearcats were snubbed by the College Football Playoff selection committee, Ward said the program will continue to prove itself. He said UC can hang with the best of them, and he's hoping the team gets a shot to prove it.

"All the team has to do is keep winning," Ward said. "Win out and everything will fall in place for itself."

For more information on College GameDay at UC, click here.