I keep looking for stuff about what losing football due to COVID is going to cost college towns. Here’s something I found in The Athletic ($$) about the hit businesses in Lincoln, Nebraska are expecting to take from less or no Nebraska football fans this season:
The 89,000-plus who pack into the stadium and the thousands more who watch the game from tailgates and bars come from all over. A 2014 study from UNL’s Bureau of Business Research found that 69 percent of fans who attended Husker football games in 2013 traveled to Lincoln from outside the area. And they spent a lot of money.
According to the study, Husker football ticket holders’ off-site spending in Lincoln totaled an estimated $42.9 million for eight 2013 home games, an average of almost $5.4 million per game. Out-of-town visitors accounted for an estimated $4.3 million of that average. Football fans combined to spend nearly $18 million on food and $7 million on lodging during those eight weekends. The study determined the overall impact of Nebraska athletics on the local economy in 2013-14 was an estimated $245.5 million.
One bar owner estimates that the take from Nebraska’s seven home game dates pays the bills for most of the year. Given what local hotels charge, I can believe it.
But those home games with two-night minimum and even higher rates do make a difference. At Embassy Suites, the cheapest two-night reservation available right now for the Purdue game on Sept. 5 costs $814. At The Kindler, it’s $941.
It’s not pretty.