Texas A&M and Alabama: The Weekend Of The Year

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COLLEGE STATION - The economic impact of A&M football for the Bryan-College Station has been calculated many times over – one recent study estimates the local economic impact on game days as $15.2 million.

So the question is – can one game bring enough visitors to town to generate $25 million in business?

“We certainly have all been looking forward to the Alabama and A&M game weekend,” said Shannon Overby, CEO of the B/CS Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“And we know hotels, restaurants, shops, and just about every business in town has been looking forward to it as well!”

With a ticket allotment of 6,000 for Alabama fans (which is part of a sold-out, near 83,000 seat Kyle Field), more than 700 RV spaces on A&M’s campus, and 35 hotels with a capacity of roughly 3,200 rooms, the CVB estimates that anywhere between 50,000 and 75,000 visitors will stop through Bryan-College Station this Saturday, and could top as many as 90,000.

In other terms, that’s roughly the population of Bryan coming to town for just one day.

“And our guess is good as any,” Overby said. “It’s hard to estimate how many people will just drive in on Saturday to experience the tailgating on campus, or to watch the game in a restaurant or bar just to be part of the game day festivities. And we’re only talking visitors – not the residents that already are here!”

A 2011 football economic impact study estimated that $15 million on average was generated in business per home game.

That average is expected to be more than exceeded this weekend, as the study was done before A&M joined the SEC, and the interest in a sixth ranked team playing against the number one ranked defending national champion is much higher than an average game.

2012 reports state there were 1.3 million visitors for A&M athletics, an increase of 19.5 percent over the prior year.

That 2012 report from A&M stated a $377 million direct impact on the Bryan-College Station economy, which includes the entire year of activities – not just football.