Tuskegee, Morehouse game brings in money for Columbus economy - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tuskegee, Morehouse game brings in money for Columbus economy

COLUMBUS, GA - While fans are gearing up for the 76th face-off between Tuskegee University and Morehouse College on the gridiron, some local businesses are getting ready for a pay day.

About 30,000 people are expected to flock to Columbus this weekend for the game.  While not all the fans are here yet, Carlton Randall and some other early birds traveled long distances to cheer on their favorite team,

"Tailgating is my favorite.  That atmosphere is like family with everybody coming together just having fun, hanging out," said Randall.

However, Peter Bowden with the Columbus Convention and Visitor's Bureau says no matter who wins on the football field, the city will come out on top.

"We've got folks that are staying in hotels or eating out.  They're partying, they're tailgating and doing all the things that you want to see at a great football classic," said Bowden.

He explains all of those activities help to bring in about $1 million to the Columbus economy and small businesses like Chester's Barbeque.  Trenton Chester says his revenue will double in comparison to other weekends.

"It is actually one of the busiest weekends for us here.  Anytime a game of that magnitude comes to this area, it really has an impact on our business and we look forward to it every year," said Chester.

The business owner explains it is not just about the money, but it is about the culture of the game because the same fans come by every year.

"[We have] fans coming from everywhere…they are actually stopping by and supporting us," said Chester.

Randall says they are already spending money.

"We're going out shopping later on because we have to buy food and stuff to tailgate with.  So, money will be spent."

Kick-off for the game will be at 2:00pm at Memorial Stadium.

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