Away games generate economic impact – The Oxford Eagle

Away matches generate economic impact

Posted at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 28, 2022

By Wayne Andrews

Fall often has our community focused on football season. Match weekends seem to attract attention as alumni, visiting team fans and the community turn up for the action-packed weekend. It is believed that away games will lead to less turmoil. Still, those few open weekends get busy. Open weekends are perfect for local organizations to host events. Lectures fill open weekends seeking to integrate the city into the visitor experience. Cultural groups are trying to offer a break from the pressure of the tailgate preparations.

Looking at the most recent 14-day window with two weekends without home football, you understand how other events are creating an economic impact. Beginning last weekend, Lafayette County hosted the Southern Foodways Symposium which drew 250 culinary and foodie experts to our community. While the Symposium includes several meals between lectures, lectures and presentations. Chefs, writers, researchers, brewers, distillers and foodies in attendance explored restaurants in our community. The fact that the city itself is part of the symposium experience adds to the overall quality of the program, but also contributes to the local economy.

Another 200 visitors explored Lafayette County as the arena hosted regional barrel races drawing visitors from Tennessee and Mississippi. Participating in a barrel race involves a crew. Who must be fed, housed, and who need equipment to support the horses brought to compete in competitions. Local vendors, from food trucks to artisan goods, have created a festival that engages attendees to encourage attendees and viewers to spend the day in Lafayette County.

Three different art exhibitions enlivened the square over the weekend. Southside hosted an artist conversation to wrap up their current show. The Motel Art Show featured local and guest artists drawing hundreds to celebrate the Southern artist. MIC Harder 9000 held a pop-up exhibition showcasing his paintings of Oxford restaurants. Collectively, these three shows drew hundreds of locals and community visitors who purchased art, dined out, and for overnight visitors.

This coming weekend features a host of events that impact the local economy. The Monster’s Ball at the Country Club and the Ghostly Gala at the Powerhouse on Friday will create local business for local bands, caterers and their vendors as hundreds of adults attend the parties. Attendees dressing up means buying costumes. Spending a night out means Uber fees, babysitters, and even ordering food. Add to that the many family events at Spooktacular, OPD Haunted House, or Coleman Funeral Home Trunk or Treat, resulting in a slew of businesses buying local and spending to support community events.

So hopefully we’re all excited for the next home football game. Encourage all community organizations that fill weekends away with theater productions, concerts, festivals and conferences. The impact of a successful football season means more focus on our community, attracting visitors to explore all the experience available to them in the Lafayette University of Oxford community.

Wayne Andrews is president of the YAC.

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