College towns could take a big financial hit without football in the fall

Posted at 6:47 PM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 19:47:09-04

Football impacts more than just the teams and universities. If the season is cancelled this fall, the financial impact could be devastating on college towns.

When you think of College Station many think “Aggie Land.” When Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012, it was estimated each home football game brought in close to $20 million.

“I think all of our expectations have been exceeded so I’m wondering if its more than that at this point in time,” said President and CEO of Bryan College Station Chamber of Commerce, Glen Brewer.

“The fall sets the standard for the most part as far as income into our community through these football games. Lots of revenues are made during that time and that’s what keeps our businesses going. You gotta think about gas stations grocery stores, all those things are being effected,” said Executive Director of Bryan College Station Sports and Events, Kindra Fry.

In Waco, you can't help but think of McLane Stadium where sounds of fans cheering for the Baylor Bears echo off the Brazos River. Losing football would mean losing six or more weekends of thousands of fans traveling to and spending money in McLennan County.

“It's a lot. It’s a significant amount of revenue each home game brings when you factor in hotel stays and restaurant and food and beverage. The tailgating phenomenon is a significant amount of weekly revenue that the destination enjoys,”said Director of Waco Convention Center and Convention Visitors Bureau, Todd Bertka.

Local businesses have already taken a major hit due to COVID-19.

“If the season does not happen and these six dates become vacated, it will give us an opportunity to introduce the diverse experiences of the Waco community and McLennan County to our visitors and we will definitely put our efforts in our direction” said Todd Bertka.

“If we don’t have football, there is no doubt that some of those hotels will not be able to remain in business because those hotels rely on those weekends selling guaranteed two nights per stay because the hotels are full at full rates that’s something the hotels have needed to keep them over the hump. You know they have been barely getting by as it is,”said Glen Brewer.

With the uncertainty of the fall sports seasons, many public officials and local business owners are afraid the impact of losing football could be devastating to local economies.