SEC Move Could Give Economic Boost to Aggieland

It's been a tumultuous week as Texas A&M seeks a departure from the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference.

A number of other Big 12 member schools have jumped on the bandwagon saying it would not be a good move for A&M.

But others are touting a win-win situation for the Bryan-College Station economy.

Football weekends are already a huge money maker for the B-CS economy, but local business owners think a defection to the SEC could bring even greater rewards.

Clayton Rhoades owns the two Chicken Express restaurants in College Station, is a former student, and has served as President of the Brazos Valley Restaurant Association.

"The entire weekend ends up being a great weekend too since most people stay for several days we catch 'em when they're on there way in on a Friday we'll sometimes catch them for dinner and 90 percent of the time we're catching them on their way out too," said Rhoades.

Economists are weighing in.

Ray Perryman, a Waco-based economist and Baylor grad claims Texas stands to lose $217,200,000 annually and 3,050 jobs if Texas A&M leaves the Big 12.

And if the Big 12 dissolves he figures that would set the state back $589,500,000 and 8,329 jobs.

They are numbers that Forbes Magazine Contributor Kristi Dosh questions.

"Waco may stand to lose a little money but the State of Texas is going to be doing better... You're talking about conference opponents coming from other places coming from Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas to come play in College Station. Those fans are going to come they're going to stay two nights and a lot of the hotels have two night minimums. They're going to be eating out," said Dosh.

"We have potential to sell this town out at football games and the businesses as well. I think it's a good thing," said Clayton Rhoades.

A change that many here feel is destined to happen.

News 3 has attempted to contact Ray Perryman of the Perryman Group for more information on his study, but our calls have not been returned.

There's no word from Texas A&M on when an official deal could be made with the SEC.

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