KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | Aggieland News

Business Owners Worried About Possible Aggie Football Season Away From B/CS

When the Aggies play at Kyle Field millions of dollars are pumped into the local economy.

But what would happen if games were moved out of town for a whole season to make way for a new stadium?

Restaurants, retailers and hotels say it would be catastrophic for their businesses, and one Bed and Breakfast representative said Thursday it would put them out of business for good.

News 3 attended the B/CS Convention and Visitors Bureau meeting to take a look at that and discovered lots of worries from businesses across the Brazos Valley.

A group from Philadelphia-based Tourism Economics was here at the College Station Hilton collaborating with business owners from dozens of industries.

They're trying to get a grasp on what the impact would be if fans had to head out of town to places like Houston for home football games.

There are three options for Kyle Field; build a whole a new stadium on campus, renovate over time and keep home games at home, or renovate quickly and move home games out of town.

It's an establishment maybe as legendary as Aggieland itself.

The Dixie Chicken has been serving Aggies, non aggies and football fans for 38 years here in Northgate, but fans might have to flock to Houston as improvements come to Kyle Field a few short seasons away.

"A good portion of your business is just gone," said Dixie Chicken Manager Cliff George.

George is worried business will bust if football moves out of town for a whole year.

"Football weekends can make up about 40 percent of our actual business through a year. 65, 70 percent of our merchandise sales happen football weekends," he added.

Texas A&M is still considering its options.

"You're going to lose a lot of the student support at football games having to travel to Houston or whatever to go to the games. They're not all going to travel," George said.

If you look at the economics of it, it's a lot like taking money out of a tip jar. Not having a season of football at Kyle Field would affect not only bar owners but even bartenders too.

The B/CS Convention and Visitors Bureau is searching for more impact answers and called on Tourism Economics to help with a gathering of hundreds of businesses owners and representatives.

"Our job is also to help explain the numbers to help give you a narrative and a story behind them so this session is helping to round out the story line," said Adam Sacks, Director of Tourism Economics.

Katy Jackson co-owns the Dixie Chicken with her sister and wasn't comforted much after the meeting.

"It's just, it's a ripple effect that I think will affect everyone here," said Jackson.

"I can see where maybe move it to another spot and get a new stadium and you don't miss out on any football games here… I mean we got plenty of land," said Cliff George.

The B/CS Convention and Visitors Bureau is paying Tourism Economics $55,000 out of hotel occupancy tax funds for the study.

Results are expected to be out in about six weeks.

Texas A&M has still not decided on the final plan for Kyle Field or a new stadium, but comprehensive construction is expected to start after the 2013 football season.


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