Oxford Economics to study economic impact of A&M games on local economy

Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 4:49pm

COLLEGE STATION -- In College Station plans are underway to renovate their stadium, Kyle Field, and one option being considered is to play all home games in a city like Houston next year to speed up the construction process.

But that has some local businesses worried they'll lose the football-season income they so desperately rely on.

Every home game more than 90,000 fans fill Kyle Field but if the games were moved to Houston the stands would remain empty.

"To what extent will businesses suffer, to what extent will households suffer, how will it affect unemployment?"

These are just a few of the questions Adam Sacks, with Oxford Economics, wants answered.

So today, the BCS Chamber of Commerce and the Visitors Bureau held a public forum to let businesses voice their opinions.

Tap Bentz., with Outback Steakhouse, was just one of a handful in attendance.

"We want to see Kyle Field get expanded but what's it going to do to the local merchants?"

Bentz predicts about a five-percent loss in his business but smaller independent restaurants could be hit even harder.

Donna Connor, marketing director of Taste of BCS said, "Not only does it not bring people into the community, it will also take the local people and all their local customers away."

Connor, who represents 25 different local restaurants, says some businesses make 80 percent of their yearly revenue during the seven home games.

And if College Station loses those games, some may not be able to make it.

"A business that's been established for five years or more will be more able to survive but anything under five and certainly less than three will have a very hard time," said Connor.

Now Oxford Economics, a company hired to look at the economic impact of such a decision, is collecting data and plans to give it to the University so they can take it into consideration before a final decision is made in September.


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