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Busy weekend for Charlotte as college football takes over

UGA is set to take on Clemson at BOA Stadium, but more than football, officials say this weekend’s events will bring needed boost to Charlotte’s hospitality industry

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — This weekend the Queen city is turning into the capital of college football.

The Duke’s Mayo Classic kicked off the college football season with a match-up between ECU and App State, Thursday night, followed by the Duke’s Mayo Bowl Saturday.

Saturday’s match-up features two powerhouse top-five ranked teams, UGA and Clemson. Both games will be played at BOA stadium.

But more than football, city officials say the weekend’s events will bring a much-needed boost to Charlotte’s hospitality industry.

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“In terms of our restaurant and bar scene, our experiences and tours around town, hotels as well, local businesses, local shops a lot of clothing stores have already reached out to say they’ve seen an increase in foot traffic this week alone, Cory Burkharth, spokesperson for the City of Charlotte, said. 

Organizers with the Charlotte Sports Foundation estimate more than 100,000 will participate in the weekend’s events. They say Thursday’s game will have more than 32,000 in attendance. Saturday’s game they say, is sold-out, with some tickets still available on secondary markets.

“We know the economic impact will be huge. There will be studies following the two events and we think the numbers are going to be fabulous,” Danny Morrison, Executive Director, of Charlotte Sports Foundation, said. 

Charlotte’s Regional Visitors Authority also told WCNC Charlotte that several Charlotte businesses were also booked for private events related to this weekend’s games including the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

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An alumni event also took place at BB&T ballpark in Uptown Thursday, ahead of the game.

The bowl game, which enters its 19th year this season, has gone under the name Belk Bowl since 2010, named for the Charlotte-based department store chain, which announced it would drop its sponsorship last November.

Duke’s Mayonnaise, owned by Richmond’s C.F. Sauer Co., took over as the title sponsor of the games in a four-year contract, which began in 2020.

The Charlotte Sports Foundation said the 2018 Belk Bowl had a total economic impact of $28.6 million and $15.4 of that was in direct visitor spending.

Contact Ashley Daley at adaley@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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