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Local businesses benefit from return of college football

Garnet and Gold saw sales fall by 65% in 2020
Posted at 8:27 AM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-06 11:15:39-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Fans and students aren’t the only ones excited that football is back at full capacity. Local businesses have a chance to make up some of the income that was lost last season.

A 2018 study by Florida State University shows each fan traveling to Leon County for FSU home football games generated $384 to the local economy during their visit.

For local businesses like Capital city Pedi Cabs, those numbers weren’t nearly as high in the covid shortened season of 2020.

“Last year was really not the capacity we’re used to for the previous year,” said Mike Goldstein of Capital City PediCabs. “So it’s definitely going to be a big jump for us and other local businesses for the game. We definitely need it after last year.”

Garnet and Gold saw more red than green in 2020. It was one of the worst fiscal years in the three-decade history of the FSU merchandise store.

“I would say our sales were off by 65% compared to a normal year,” said Garnet and Gold Operations Manager Eric Nelson. “You have to realize that 60 or 65% of our normal sales happen during six or seven weekends out of the entire year.”

But with the Seminoles taking the field this weekend there’s hope, according to visit Tallahassee marketing director Katie Kole.

“The sporting events have really been leading the recovery efforts in Leon County,” says Kole. “This fall not only do we have the seven home games for with FSU.”

That’s good news for local hotels.

The Hyatt House in railroad square opened in February.

They’re sold out this weekend for FSU’s home opener.

The manager tells ABC27 they’re also seeing a boost from the return of FAMU football.

Rooms are already sold out for homecoming weekend.