The economic impacts of ECU Football - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

The economic impacts of ECU Football

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Thousands will pour into Greenville for the Pirate football games this season and many bring their wallets with them. Businesses then swing the doors open for them hoping to cash in on the craze.

The team itself generates more than $10 million but the games aren't where all the money's made. Considering all the eating, sleeping and partying these fans do on an average game day weekend, when it's added up, it certainly gives the city a big boost.

It's the most amount of people we'll ever have all year long." Don Edwards of the University Book Exchange said.

Stores, restaurants and even hotels want a piece of the action.

"Every year the football games bring tremendous amount of people to town to tailgate or go to the actual game." Tyler McDowell with the Hampton Inn says fans stay an average of two nights. Football season is a great time for them to make an impression on families who return for other events like graduation.

"It really picks up in the beginning of June and it doesn't stop for us until the kids let out for Christmas vacation." McDowell said.

The University Athletic Association estimates $11 million are generated on game day. Multiplied by 6 home games and that's $66 million infused into the east."

Uptown Greenville wants to rake in the most of it. On game days they are offering a free shuttle to the stadium. Business owners say it's a great way to get people to spend money. "ECU, the students and the sports program are a life blood." Katherine Wetherington of Winslow's Tavern said. 

To learn more about the Uptown Game Day Shuttle click here

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