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REACTION: Big Ten football votes to start season

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The Big Ten Conference voted to start its football season in late October on Wednesday. The season is scheduled to start Oct. 23.

That means Golden Gopher football is back.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz responded to the move while visiting Byron Wednesday afternoon.

"Nobody is missing football more than me, I think I can say that with pretty good certainty," Walz said. "I think that we need to mesh that up with what the data shows us is happening."

Dan Christianson, a Gophers football season ticket holder agreed with Walz's sentiment of keeping the players safe.

"How they're going to handle keeping the kids healthy, I don't know but it sounds like they've got some great testing programs in place," Christianson said. "Hopefully they can make sure that they keep the kids healthy."

U of M students are happy to have their team playing again for a semblance of normalcy.

"With all the restrictions that I thought they would put and then when they did cancel it," said Riley Nelson. "And now that it seems that they're reinstating it, this is an awesome, you know, I'm really excited."

Other students echoed Nelson's statement saying it'll be good for the university in terms of school spirit, revenue for the school, and hope for another good season.

Businesses are also welcoming the return of college football.

Pasquale Presa, owner of Pasquale's Neighborhood Pizza said that he saw a bit of a jump in sales on Sunday with the return of the Vikings. Pasquale said he hopes the return of football on Saturdays as well will help make up for lost revenue.

Newt's downtown location manager Cole Kundert said customer traffic increased with the NFL's return and can only hope for more when the Gophers start again.

Minnesota had a big year last season, going 11-2 on the season with a 7-2 record in conference play, finishing second behind Wisconsin in the Big Ten West. Fans are hoping for another big season.

"Go big or go home," said Newt's waiter Denver Bruessel.

"I think they have a great program," Christianson said. "Offensively as everybody knows, they're going to do well. The defensive side of the ball is going to be a little bit more of a challenge because they've lost so many people there. I think they're going to be competitive and that's I think what they need."

Signalling yet another return to normal, Hawkeyes fans in the Gopher State are already starting the trash talk.

"Can't wait for my Hawkeyes to beat the Gophers!" said Brian Moser.

Zach Fuller

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