Football at ETSU could be touchdown for local businesses

POSTED: 5:44 PM Jan 31 2013   UPDATED: 12:00 AM Jan 31 2013
BUC FOOTBALL COMMUNITY
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

Still no final decision on the return of football at ETSU. But one thing is for sure, the community is already brimming with excitement over the possibility.

News 5 checked with the Chamber of Commerce to see if football would be a touchdown for the local economy.

Spotting Buccaneer pride, it's not hard to do in Johnson City and with the buzz of football at ETSU, it's more than just students cheering for a change. "On Saturday afternoon you want to go to a football game and for the last, I don't know how many years, there hasn't been anything to do in the area. So football is definitely exciting," said fan Mickey Onks.

But there are concerns a second chance at football needs the community rallying behind the team. Help with that job is going to come from the Chamber of Commerce. "If we can get them in seats, we can get them to spend money. And it'll be good for our fans, it'll be good for our school, and of course brings the community together," said Chamber President Gary Mabrey.

In fact, we learned in Washington County, Tennessee visitors alone spent more than $200,000 last year. But there's the hope those visitors will spend big money throughout the region. "Anything we can add to the bottom line, is good for the bottom line," added Mabrey.

Many businesses are counting down to game day, like Firehouse Restaurant. "We'd love it as a business because it creates activity in the area, people stopping in before games," said owner Tom Seaton.

News 5 learned the Chamber of Commerce will be working directly with ETSU on plans to bring back the excitement of football throughout the region.