The large majority of Provo’s population are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and do not drink. Folks in Wisconsin, well, they drink a lot, so it had to be a little bit of a culture shock to find out Provo (population: 115,000) has just two bars.
But they adjusted just fine.
Inside ABG's Bar in Provo that opened early for Badgers fans. The owner told me he "only expected a couple of people." pic.twitter.com/x50AMUvS0z
— Alec Ausmus (@A_Twice27) September 16, 2017
Wisconsin fans, in town to watch their Top 10-ranked team take on BYU, had cleaned him and his bar — ABG’s Libation Emporium — out of a few items after he decided to open at 10 a.m. Saturday — two hours earlier than usual — ahead of the game’s 1:30 p.m. kickoff.
“We had 17 people come in the door at 10 o‘clock and about 35 or 40 follow them instantly,” Whiting said. “It was just a constant influx.”
Gary Whiting, the owner of ABG, told the Tribune Saturday was “the biggest day” he’s had at the bar financially, tripling the bar’s usual income. He also had high praise for the temperament of the Wisconsin fans.
Whiting said ABG’s capacity is 128 people and that the bar was “packed” for three hours with patrons who were “a little loud,” but otherwise were the best group of traveling fans he’s seen in 27 years of ownership.
“It was a wonderful thing,” he said. “The people from Wisconsin are fabulous. They’re the nicest, funnest people we’ve ever had here.”
Added ABG bartender Bryttan Johnson to the Deseret News:
“We didn’t run out of (anything but Pabst beer), but they did drink a lot. It was way fun. They were all very nice.”
Provo’s other bar, City Limits, also made sure to open early — at 10 a.m. — for Wisconsin fans. The most popular drink choices for the Badger fans? Bud Light and Fireball whisky.
“They were all just happy to have a good time,” City Limits bartender Liz Burley said. “They were joking about trying to drink Provo dry.”
And once they made their way over to LaVell Edwards Stadium, the good vibes continued. Not only did their Badgers win 40-6, but many were surprised by the hospitality and friendliness of the BYU faithful.
“It was like the twilight zone,” said a smiling Brian Bay, uncle of the team’s long snapper, who came up from Phoenix with a group of Wisconsin supporters.
“The nicest fans in the world,” friend Mike Stakemiller said of the home crowd.
Something tells me Utah fans wouldn’t get the same treatment, but it’s always the right thing to make a good impression on the fanbase of a school that won’t have many chances to visit your town and campus.
BYU will complete the home-and-home series by traveling to Madison next September. Wisconsin fans will definitely return the favor.
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Boxing judge punished for controversial scorecard
• Coach proposes dangerous fight for Ronda Rousey
• Charles Robinson: NFL TV ratings aren’t pretty so far
• NFL Power Rankings: Rookie changes Chiefs’ outlook