Chick-fil-A is out of the Super Bowl game.
Super Bowl LIII will be held Feb. 3 at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium — home to one of the popular chicken fast-food restaurants. But keeping in line with its longstanding policy to remain closed on Sundays, Chick-fil-A won’t open its doors on Super Bowl Sunday, the company confirmed in an email to Fox News.
Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy decided in 1946 to keep his first restaurant – located in Hapeville, Ga., – closed on Sundays so “he and his employees could set aside one day to rest and worship if they choose,” according to the company’s website.
There were questions as to why Chick-fil-A decided to open locations in the new Atlanta stadium since the Falcons, for the most part, play on Sundays. But Chick-fil-A officials defended the decision as a way to cater to customers at events other than NFL games.
“We’re open for about 100 events a year that happen right here at the stadium,” Jonathan Hollis, franchise operator of the Chick-fil-A at Mercedes-Benz Stadium said in a news release. “We have Atlanta United soccer games, concerts, college football games, high school football games, band competitions and more. We even have a monster truck rally!”
“Having a Chick-fil-A in the stadium allows us to serve a myriad of people throughout the year at all sorts of events,” Hollis said. “We’re here when they’re making memories. And we want to create those memories with them – it’s what we do best.”
Still, Chick-fil-A remaining steadfast in its decision not to open has drawn mixed reactions from aficionados online.
“As if I needed another reason to love [Chick-fil-A],” one woman said in a tweet sharing the news.
“Sometimes your morals mean more than making a buck. Much respect,” another echoed.
But one Twitter user encouraged the restaurant to open the stand, saying “Jesus loves football too.”
Another Twitter user pointed out the restaurant’s closing might be a disappointment to employees who hoped to be at the game.
For one man, whether he would attend the Super Bowl hinged on Chick-fil-A: “If [Chick-fil-A] decides to open their store in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday I’m buying a ticket just to say I got Chick-fil-A on a Sunday.”
Super Bowl fans will have plenty of other food options to choose from, including Fries Up, a restaurant that serves loaded fries in the closed Chick-fil-A location on Sundays. There’s also Kevin Gillespie’s Gamechanger restaurant’s “Closed on Sunday” chicken sandwich for those who are hankering for some Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A has opened on Sundays in the past, but usually to give back to the community. Earlier this year, an Alabama Chick-fil-A opened on a Sunday to help Elijah Sprague, who has autism, celebrate his birthday by fulfilling his wish of working the restaurant’s drive-thru lane. And a North Carolina restaurant opened on a Sunday last year to help during relief efforts following the devastating Hurricane Florence.
It’s possible that Chick-fil-A could still get in on the football fun despite not being open for the Super Bowl; ahead of the College Football Playoff championship game, some Chick-fil-A locations in South Carolina created a special breakfast chicken biscuit in the shape of a paw to in honor of Clemson University, the eventual champion.
The New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams will face each other in the February game.