A&M Game Means Big Bucks For Lubbock Businesses - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/4/05

A&M Game Means Big Bucks For Lubbock Businesses

Hotels are sold out and it's standing room only for Saturday night's big match up between Texas Tech and Texas A&M. The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce estimates fans bring $8 million to the city every time the Red Raiders play the Aggies, and businesses are hoping to capitalize on that this weekend.

Jake's Sports Cafe may have a few empty seats now, but come Saturday evening, Jake's will look completely different. Hundreds of fans are getting ready to take over Lubbock for one of the biggest Tech rivalries of the season.

"We all look forward to Texas Tech playing at home and especially the Aggies game. For some reason they're more fun to beat than anyone else," said Jake's owner, Scott Stephenson.

Stephenson said they're expecting over 500 fans for Saturday night's game. They're stocking up on extra beer and food and they'll be 50% more staffed than normal Saturdays.

Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President, Marie Hanza, said this is one of the biggest weekends of the year for Lubbock; it's estimated the economy gets an $8 million boost from the A&M game alone.

"Families come in, friends come in and everybody's excited and out shopping and looking around," said Hanza.

The time of the game will give visiting fans all day to see Lubbock.

"You have an opportunity to go out and visit some of the Lubbock attractions and to see some of the changes and the business landscape that's taken place," said Hanza.

However, Saturday could be the last time the Red Raiders meet the Aggies here in Lubbock if the game does move to Dallas.

Stephenson said it's actually busier during away games because they draw more of a crowd so people can watch the game on TV, but he still doesn't want to see the game move to Dallas.

"I just think it's a bad idea for the town because the city would lose," he said.

The game is also televised, which gives Lubbock national exposure. Sixty-two TV's at Jake's will be tuned to the Tech game for those who do not have tickets.

"It's just much more fun watching in a crowd than sitting at home by yourself," said Stephenson.

200 standing room or lawn seats are all that remain for Saturday's game. The university opened up the lawn after original tickets sold out. Kick-off is at 6 p.m. at Jones SBC Stadium.

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