Game days create huge economic impact throughout region - - Columbia, South Carolina

Game days create huge economic impact throughout region


Game days always a big pay day for local merchants

Friday morning USC broke ground on what will become a multi-million dollar alumni center, located in the heart of Columbia's Vista.

"This building will further bond us with the Columbia community and Lexington and Richland County communities as well," USC President Harris Pastides said.

Communities that already know just how much Gamecock Football is worth. Chris Clark owns the Wild Hare, down the street.

"How the Gamecocks play definitely affects our business," Clark said.  

And lately, the Gamecocks and business have been very good. They're even expecting a big homecoming crowd.

"Game days are huge, the whole weekend really impacts the business in a big way," Clark said.  

Dr. Tom Regan is a professor at USC's School of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management.

The last study completed showed a $6.5 million impact per game to nearly 10 counties. And that was a few years ago.

Regan's factoring in a much greater interest in the program; merchandise and desire of far-flung Gamecocks to fly back home for big games like Saturday's homecoming matchup.

He expects fans from more than 20 states to be in attendance but the big bucks won't come from hotel rooms and restaurant receipts alone.

"When you take a look at all the other spending going on around the stadium: the lofts, parking structures, and everything else, you're starting to see a much greater economic benefit especially during a homecoming when the people are coming back to the Carolina campus," Regan said.  

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