Texas economy

Local economy boosted as Texas vs. Alabama game draws thousands

Tailgates were in Austin on Saturday, some as early as 7 a.m. Thousands of people celebrated just before the big game, bringing plenty of business downtown.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Longhorns took on the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday. This game attracted thousands of people from all over Texas and the country.

“I live off Lake Buchanan,” said Texas fan Steve Stott. “It takes me about an hour and a half, almost two hours [to get to the DKR Stadium].”

Although Stott didn’t get the win he was hoping for, he and many others considered Saturday’s game a win in some way.

“The defense played well,” said Darrell Long, another Texas fan. “Two good teams. I think everyone should be proud of the way we played today.”

Downtown Austin was teeming with people dressed in their Longhorns gear wearing burnt orange. The streets were packed with people, and local restaurants and businesses were also at the center of the action.

“We have people coming in and out all day,” said Dan Smith, owner of Scholz Garten.

Smith said they serve thousands of people. They are the largest and oldest tailgate point in all of Texas.

“We’re the oldest bar in the state of Texas, and we’ve been here since 1866,” he said. “We’ve been doing tailgates here for a long, long time, and people know it.”

These aren’t the only businesses in town having an influx of people. Drew Hayes, director of the Austin Athletic Commission, said restaurants and hotels around the world were expecting thousands of people.

“We can kind of compare this to 2019 when LSU was in town,” Hayes said. “When they were in town, we saw the immediate impact, right? So downtown hotel rooms, the average daily rate was around $406 for that game day on Saturday. And then the occupancy rate was 98%. So the hotels will be full.”

And it’s not just Saturday that the city center will be busy, but the rest of the weekend. Because, like Missouri resident Eric Sweetin, they’ll enjoy all that Central Texas has to offer.

“I’m here with my wife and all of our friends,” he said. “So we made it a weekend. It’s great. The city has been a great host.”

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