Blacksburg, VA(WFXR) – Sports is big business, especially when it comes to a home Virginia Tech football game. A Virginia Tech home football game is a big deal not only for fans but a big payday for businesses in Southwest Virginia. “There is a lot of value for each home game for sure. There is economic values one can imagine. As well as just the whole vibe of the area it just that it adds so much to Blacksburg and Montgomery County and the greater NRV region,” said Executive Director for the Montgomery County Regional Tourism Lisa Bleakley.
Bleakley is right when she talks about the value of Virginia Tech home football games. Hokie Nation shows up for the events. Whether it is for the tailgating and the cheering, they have the spirit to spend money at restaurts, hotel, gas stations and stores. All that money connected to the games could dry up if the games don’t happen in Blacksburg this fall. “I have always said football season and fall season around here with the combination of football an d everyting else going on with student movement it is like summertime in the beach for us it is our time,” said Bleakley.
Back in 2015, the Virginia Tech Office Of Economic Developement did a study about the economic impact Virginia Tech football home games have on the area. That number is a staggering $47 million in direct spending. The Virginia Department of Tourism says in 2015 the economic impact for tourism is Montgomery County is nearly $140 million. This includes Tech’s $47 million. This means nearly a 1/3 of the tourism dollars in Montgomery County come from Virginia Tech home football games.
“That is why I say everyone is saying kinda like in March when all of this stuff kinda coming. We kinda looked at things like losing the graduation. Losing July, right now we would be at the end of the freshman orientation so that is not there. The move in we will get some of that business back off of Virginia Tech move in and also Radford move in. There are other sports that both universities bring in to the area but there is no denying when you look a the numbers that Virginia Tech football is a huge contributor to our overall economic impact.,” said Bleakley.
On average, Virginia Tech has 6 or 7 home football games each season. Wednesday, the ACC announced each team will play 10 conference games and a non-conference game this season. The Hokies will have 5 home games. Another economic factor could be the number of fans allowed to come to the game due to state health and safety guidelines with COVID-19.