Fantasy football means big bucks for local businesses

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PARK SLOPE, BROOKLYN (PIX11) – It was a relatively quiet Sunday at 200 Fifth Sports Bar in Park Slope.

With football season getting ready to kick-off, chances are it will be the last quiet Sunday at the bar for quite a while.

“Football season is really big for us.  People love football obviously and we just pack the place.  It’s a lot of fun and everybody gets to watch whatever game they want,” said Mark Gerbush, the owner of 200 Fifth.

With more than 100 TV’s, Gerbush says fans flock to the local watering hole to watch their favorite teamsand now, thanks to Fantasy Football, their favorite players.

“You got guys going around with pads, going all over the place with so many chairs, they’re watching this, they’re watching that, so they can really see what’s going on with their fantasy league, it makes them really psyched up.”

But fantasy football means real money for businesses.  The fantasy sports industry expects to score an estimated $1.2 billion this year. And most of that money comes from football.

Gerbush says those profits flow into his restaurant in the form of burgers and brews. “The playoffs for basketball are great for us, and the Nets, especially this year, I think are going to be really good, but let’s face it: football is king.”

Almost 300 companies host fantasy leagues.

The largest include giants like Yahoo, ESPN, and CBS.

But what good is winning your league without something to show for it? Enter Fantasy Trophies, a website that sells awards for fantasy football leagues.

The Brooklyn based company features customizable hand sculpted classics like “The Throwback” and “The Armchair Quarterback.”

A full size  trophy for the king of your group of couch potatoes will set you back a little more than $300.

But the beer bellied busts on these trophies may already need a makeover as more women become fantasy fanatics, a trend the NFL seems to be well aware of.

Even Gerbush says he’s noticed more women in the Sunday crowd at 200 Fifth — although he says he’s still not sure whether they’re there for the games or the guys.

“Some of the ladies come down and some of them are football fans and some of them are just male fans.”

Either way, more fans cheering for their players to reach the goal line means good news for his bottom line.

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