Aggieland business owner says SEC expansion could boost those hurt by pandemic

Businesses in town say expansion would be beneficial.
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:25 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Kenny Lawson, owner and CEO of C.C. Creations, said adding the University of Texas and Oklahoma to the Southeastern Conference could bring a boost to businesses hurt by the pandemic.

“The impact that it will make on this community, as far as the service industry which just got crippled during the pandemic, you know, your hotels, your restaurants, all your retailers will get a huge boost,” Lawson explained.

Bryan and College Station businesses are closely following news of possible SEC expansion. Industries like restaurants, retail and hotels say they’d see benefits if Texas or other teams come to town. Both Texas and OU are known to have fan bases that travel to sporting events, especially football.

“I think that would be an awesome business opportunity for us, as hoteliers. It would bring in a lot of business, a lot of people from other cities and it would be better for the city,” said Alexis Rendon, College Station Super 8 Assistant General Manager.

Football season is a huge economic driver for the hospitality industry that struggled this past season during the pandemic.

“If they can add more games that would be a lot better for the hotels absolutely and local business,” said Rendon.

At Wings ‘N More, Aggie fans have strong opinions on if Texas and Oklahoma should join the SEC.

“We’re just going to wait and see how that all pans out,” said Wings ‘N More General Manager Tony Ford.

“I like being the only [Texas] school in the SEC. The SEC travels very well as it is and then, you know, Texas is just right up the road and they’ll definitely travel and of course help all of the businesses out you know there’s always a plus,” said Ford.

Lawson said retailers like C.C. Creations will see benefits if old rivalries get restored.

“You talk about huge tailgates, huge game day environments. I mean our stores are packed,” said Lawson about football season.

“Considering everything that we went through this past year the more business the better,” said Rendon.

Retailers also said they know what to expect for games against Texas and Oklahoma. If the expansion happens we may start seeing some old rivalry merchandise renewed.

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