Big Game Means Big Bucks for the Triangle
Posted November 7, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST
CHAPEL HILL — Even if you don't know a thing about football, and can't tell a "nole" from a "heel" in the ground, you're probably aware there's a big game tomorrow. No matter who wins on the field, the game will make winners out of a lot of businesses.
FSU fans began pouring in this morning. Barry Scarr bought his tickets last April. First up after the airport, the car rental agency. Folks at Alamo told WRAL they were all out of cars.
There's no room at the Carolina Inn. The favorite Tar Heel resting spot sold out for this weekend last spring. Manager Creston Woods says the hotel was virtually sold out in one day, on April 14th.
According to Orange County number crunchers, a football weekend adds up to between $2.5 to $3 million dollars in revenue. They say the UNC-Florida State game will bring in even more.
By mid-afternoon Friday, Franklin Street became filled with locals and tourists. That meant a lot of action for cash registers. Orange County economic developer Ted Abernathy says a lot of people coming in don't even have tickets. They just showed up on Franklin Street to be a part of the excitement.
Friday, fans were buying up Tar Heel merchandise. Store owner Shelton Henderson says it was an incredible day. His store was filled with people from all walks of life.
WRAL is told it's difficult to even find a hotel room in the entire Triangle this weekend. Not only is football the game of order in Chapel Hill, but in Raleigh and Durham. To add to the crowds, it's Parent's Weekend at NC State.
Also among the droves of people taking over local hotels and restaurants are reporters and photographers from the national press.