Postponement of Big Ten football means fewer tourism dollars

(Photo supplied/Indiana University)

The Big Ten Conference says it’s postponing the 2020-21 fall sports schedules that includes football. What does that mean for communities that count on the income football season brings in?

Communities like Bloomington count on the millions of dollars that come in during college football season.

Mike McAfee, executive director of Visit Bloomington, tells Inside INdiana Business that there are around 6 to 7 weekends in a year that they can count on those revenues from those games. He said that with the football season canceled it’s a big loss.

“We are one of the smallest Big Ten university towns, so when something like this happens, the impact is much bigger on us,” said McAfee.

McAfee said home football games are the busiest tourism weekends in Bloomington, they bring in around 40,000 people to hotels, restaurants and bars, and spend around $158 per person on game weekend.

The postponement also impacts men’s and women’s cross country, filed hockey, soccer, and women’s volleyball.

“We’re more than just a university town, we do have a lot of things to offer,” said McAfee. “We’ll be resilient about it, there just won’t be quite as much revenue coming into the community as normal.”

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