Yesterday, Disney announced that they would be closing most of the ESPN Zone restaurants across the country.
It’s unclear what has prompted Disney to close the establishments, although the bars may well be a casualty of the recession. A poll released in March by AlixPartners found that 30% of consumers planned to eat out less frequently, and spend less per meal than they did the year before.
I understand why people would shy away from a bar/restaurant that charges a bit more for average bar food and drinks. I happen to like the ESPN Zone’s that I’ve been to and there’s always something inside me that wants to install a TV in my bathroom after every visit.
Specifically, I’ve had a great time at the Las Vegas location inside of NYNY. The NYNY sportsbook is almost non-existent, so I have to imagine that MGM will find another name to slap on the ESPN Zone and re-brand it as something similar to Legasse Stadium at the Palazzo. I’m thinking that MGM’s relationship with the Light Group will come into play here, but I’m not sure how just yet.