SWAC Championship game expected to bring in millions of dollars for the Capital City

Published: Dec. 4, 2021 at 10:18 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - More than 50,000 fans packed Veteran’s Memorial Stadium for the Jackson State University football game Saturday, setting a SWAC Championship attendance record.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said he couldn’t be more excited about it.

“JSU not only provides an economic boost to the city, but it provides a sense of place in our city,” Lumumba said. “I’m just happy to be out here celebrating with everyone else.”

He said there’s no denying that JSU’s success on the football field has equaled big bucks for the Capital City this year.

“The estimated impact from homecoming was about $4 million,” Lumumba said. “I believe that the estimated impact from the Jackson State v. Alcorn game was somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million.”

Saturday’s SWAC Championship game is expected to produce similar numbers.

Yolanda Clay-Moore with Visit Jackson anticipates fans to spend around $4.7 million this weekend.

“The record number of people that have been coming to these games to support Jackson State, Coach Prime, the team, and the staff is phenomenal,” Clay-Moore said.

Local businesses — like the Drury Inn and Suites off County Line Rd. — say they’re feeling the impacts of the increased traffic. In fact, the hotel’s general manager, Barry Zinke, said they’re fully booked.

“I saw a little bit of gold and purple this morning from the opposing team, but it is mostly Jackson State fans,” Barry Zinke. “A lot from Texas, a lot from the Atlanta area coming over.”

If you combine this weekend’s numbers with JSU’s Homecoming weekend back in October and their game against Alcorn State two weeks ago, JSU’s football team has helped generate nearly $15 million for the city.

They now head to Atlanta for the Celebration Bowl in two weeks.

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