Missoula’s Economy Will Miss Football Playoff Games [AUDIO]
One way or the other, the Montana Grizzly football season will come to a close on Saturday with the 112th 'Brawl of the Wild' with the MSU Bobcats.
Up until 2010, the Grizzlies had made the FCS playoffs for 19 straight years, many of which included at least one home game. Director of the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Patrick Barkey, says the enormous spending power of thousands of visitors before and after the game is difficult to quantify, but impossible to deny.
Hundreds of motel and hotel rooms, restaurant meals, gasoline, and of course, retail spending. Since the playoffs take place over the holiday period, most visitors take time in downtown stores and the Southgate Mall purchasing gifts to take home.
Aside from the direct economic benefit, Barkey says the promotional factor of seeing the University of Montana portrayed on national television on networks like ESPN, is invaluable for recruiting and for fundraising.
The Montana State Bobcats will leave Missoula Saturday, and win or lose, will head to the playoffs, while the Grizzlies will rebuild, reload and look to next year.