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College towns anxious about football decision

From front left to right, Meaghan Hourigan, Brigit Hourigan and Megan Richardson cheer the Crimson Tide along with other fans pulling for Alabama against Clemson as they watch a broadcast of an NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, at Rounders on the Strip in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
From front left to right, Meaghan Hourigan, Brigit Hourigan and Megan Richardson cheer the Crimson Tide along with other fans pulling for Alabama against Clemson as they watch a broadcast of an NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, at Rounders on the Strip in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)(Vasha Hunt | AP)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 11:48 AM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - We know Alabama football means a lot to the city of Tuscaloosa and more so with businesses that depend on them playing in the fall.

Estimates show Alabama football has a $175 to $200 million economic impact on the city, according to the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. A lot of restaurants, bars and hotels are remaining hopeful that football will still take place this fall after taking economic hits over the past few months because of the pandemic.

“So many of them really depend on college football. Many of them are kind of weathering the storm hoping that college football will be back,” Barkley Garrett with the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama said.

Going back to March, the chamber has held over 60 programs and events to give small businesses advice on how to stay afloat. The chamber is hoping to continue those efforts. Not having football is something they don’t like to think about, but they’re planning for it just in case.

“Delaying college football to the spring certainly would be a better alternative than not having at all. Unfortunately, I don’t know that all of our businesses will be able to weather that storm,” Garrett said.

Mayor Walt Maddox says saving the fall is important to the city’s economy. He tweeted a recent study that shows UA’s economic impacts for the Tuscaloosa metro area were estimated to be over $2 billion, 13,000 jobs, and $45.5 million in local sales tax.

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Original Story: https://www.wbrc.com/2020/08/10/college-towns-anxious-about-football-decision/

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