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As Banks businesses prepare for large crowds Saturday, officials urge fans do one thing: mask up

bengals paul brown stadium
Emilee Chinn
A general view of Paul Brown Stadium during an NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Cincinnati.

The Banks in downtown Cincinnati is prepping for thousands of football fans this weekend.

The Cincinnati Bengals have their first playoff game since 2015 at Paul Brown Stadium Saturday. It will be their second game this month at Paul Brown Stadium.

Banks spokesperson Tracy Schwegmann says January is usually a tough month for many businesses in the area, but Saturday's big game could help them out quite a bit.

"The fact that we have had not one, but now two Bengals games in the month of January is kind of like Christmas coming twice in January for us," Schwegmann said.

As businesses are prepping for more customers than usual, they're aware of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health officials within the region are urging fans to wear masks whether they're inside a bar or the stadium.

Jim Moehring owns Holy Grail. He's paying employees to get vaccinated. The business is recommending customers wear masks and says they should know the risks if they head out this weekend.

"Everybody knows that they should be vaccinated, they should be boosted, and for to us to try to mandate something that's not being mandated by the government or mandated everywhere else, it's not just going to happen."

City officials are urging football fans to socially distance and wear a mask if they're at The Banks this weekend. In an interview with WVXU on Thursday, Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore said vaccinated and unvaccinated fans should be wearing a mask and socially distancing.

Hamilton County commissioners declared a state of emergency this week, citing the recent surge.

The AFC wild card playoff game starts at 4:30 p.m. and will be shown on NBC.