CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- This Sunday's NFC Championship game could bring a lot of money to the city of Charlotte-- we're talking 15$ to $20 million, according to a sports economics professor at UNC Charlotte.
"For a team to make the playoffs, its a big payday," says Dr. Craig Depken with UNC Charlotte.
Dr. Depken teaches a class on the economics of sports at the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte. He says teams like the Panthers make money from TV revenue, ticket sale and concessions, but some of that revenue is shared with the NFL.
"The post season is gravy on top of all those other revenues, and for the most part, these revenue streams are not shared," he explained.
It is obviously not just the team that does well economically; the Charlotte area will also profit.
"So, for the local economy, this is important because people coming from out of town are spending money that would not have been spent here otherwise."
But even with thousands of fans pouring into uptown, not every business there will benefit equally.
"Let's say you sell beer and wings and nachos; that's probably a good draw. If you are an upscale, five-star restaurant where a shirt and tie are required, that maybe not the kind of draw for NFL fans."
The Panthers Team Store is already making sales at a record pace. Fans like Nancy Ellis are scooping up shirts, hats, and scarves-- happily spending whatever it takes.
"I lost my voice this past Sunday cheering so loudly, but I got to get ready for this coming Sunday so we can win," Ellis said.
So, while the economic impact might be different depending on the type of business, everyone agrees its still be better to have won and have the game here then to have lost.