COLLEGE STATION, TX — Reed Arena is set to host not one but two major events that will hopefully bring major cash flow to Brazos Valley businesses.
The PBR Aggieland Classic and World Fighting Championship will both fill the stands of Reed Arena for the first time. They'll both take place before the summer break ends, helping attract tourism and boost the local economy.
These events draw national attention, which is great news for Aggieland.
“It will be great for us to have some new events. We haven't had a lot of these types of events in Reed Arena in the past, and obviously with COVID we weren’t having any events really in town,” said Kindra Fry, senior director of tourism for Visit College Station.
Now that things are progressing, communities are open to throwing events with larger crowds.
”Events of this caliber and of this size are so important for recovery," Fry added. "They're so important for our local businesses. They're so important for our hotels.”
The World Fighting Championship will attract martial arts and MMA fans from all over. With College Station's position between major Texas cities, events like WFC will hopefully encourage Texans to drive a few hours.
“Our location is prime. We are right in the middle of all the big cities, so what we're seeing more of right now is that drive market,” said Fry.
Fry explained the drive market as those individuals who may be reluctant to travel by plane but are ready to get back out there and drive to nearby cities for weekend getaways.
Since Governor Greg Abbott lifted the mask mandate, businesses have seen a drastic change in traffic coming through their doors.
”We’ve seen a huge boost in sales and people coming in tourism, new student conferences," said Jake Zamora, Aggieland Outfitters employee. "People all throughout Texas and the United States coming to visit the campus, so it’s been really, really awesome.”
As more individuals become vaccinated, there is a sense of acceptance to return to normalcy with ease.
“Besides the money and sales, it’s exciting to see people out and about again traveling. People feel a little safer since the vaccine has come out,” Zamora added.
Looking forward to the second half of the year, many are hopeful to bring the life back to Aggieland.
“We have football season, which is supposed to be full capacity at Kyle Field. Classes next year are supposed to be almost fully in-person, so I really don’t see it slowing down. I see great things for our future and our community's future,” said Zamora.
Tickets for the PBR Aggieland classic are now on sale and will take place from April 9 and April 10. The WFC will fill the stands of Reed Arena on Saturday June 5. Tickets will go on sale this weekend.