FHSAA football championships at Doak Campbell have an expected economic impact of $4 million

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 5:52 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida High School Athletic Association’s football championships are taking place at FSU’s Doak Campbell Stadium from Wednesday through Saturday; the Leon County Division of Tourism, also known as Visit Tallahassee, says the visitor numbers could have a much-needed economic impact.

40,000 people are expected to be in Tallahassee over the four-day period, including athletes, coaches, families and fans.

Kerri Post, the Director of Visit Tallahassee, says it’s an expected $4 million economic impact.

“To play their championship game at Doak Campbell Stadium is a tremendous experience for these athletes,” said Post.

Local businesses say they are ready for the boost.

“This time of year is usually pretty slow, every year, and then obviously this year with COVID,” said Regional General Manager Bo Schmitz at the Hampton Inn & Suites Capitol-University. “So, it’s been nice to be a little busier this time of year.”

Hotels near Doak Campbell say they are seeing an uptick in bookings.

“Probably 20 to 30% higher than what we would have anticipated if we didn’t have this event. So I think it’s very positive for our community,” said Schmitz.

In Collegetown, Hotel Indigo opened in August.

“We got to get some good best practices and protocols in place before we opened,” said General Manager Mark Xenophon.

Bookings at that hotel, just half a mile from Doak, are up by 30% all week.

“Usually during December time, once the students finish up classes and head out, this area just gets quiet. Real quiet. So having four or five days of additional business is just amazing,” said Xenophon.

Post says sports tourism has been the most resilient type of travel during the pandemic.

“This certainly proves it! And again here in Leon County, we can, we’ve proved it. We have a track record with our cross country hosting very successful cross country events and other sporting events,” said Post.

At the games, face masks are required. Attendees are socially distanced in their seats and have to undergo a health screening before entering.

There are two games every day through Saturday, and the local team from Rickards High School is playing in one the championship games. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day.

You can learn more about tickets here.

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