High Rankings for USC, Clemson Football Mean More Money for Stat - WSPA.com

High Rankings for USC, Clemson Football Mean More Money for State’s Economy

Posted: Updated:
ESPN's bus was at Williams-Brice stadium in Columbia Wednesday. ESPN's bus was at Williams-Brice stadium in Columbia Wednesday.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -

It’s a highly unusual year because the University of South Carolina and Clemson are both highly ranked in the coaches’ pre-season football poll, with USC at number 7 and Clemson number 8.

"Two schools in the top 10 at the pre-season, outside the state of Florida, just doesn't happen very often," says Dr. Tom Regan, associate professor in USC’s Department of Sport and Retail Management. He has studied the economic impact of USC’s football program on the state, and he says having two teams doing so well means more money for the state.

"One of the things, it brings a national presence,” he says of USC’s high ranking. “And then what it also does is those fans that are non-traditional Carolina fans, that are outside of it, the buzz that's occurred because of that national ranking brings attention back to the University of South Carolina, the Gamecocks’ athletics.”

The teams’ schedules should also help. Last year, Clemson started the season with a game at a neutral site, the Georgia Dome, against Auburn. This year, the Tigers open at home against 5th ranked Georgia. A recent study by the Strom Thurmond Institute at Clemson found that each home game means $733,000 in net revenue for the state’s economy and $542,000 for the local economy.

ESPN’s Game Day will be in Clemson for the Georgia game, and Regan says that also means more money. He says it’s difficult to estimate exactly how much, but Game Day brings fans into town earlier, so they end up spending more money. He thinks a visit by Game Day could easily mean an additional $500,000 to the local economy, when the show comes to Columbia.

USC starts the year at home in a nationally televised game against North Carolina. Regan says the USC-Clemson game and SEC games bring in about $8 million each to the Columbia economy, while a non-conference game for USC brings in about $6.5 million. Even though North Carolina is a non-conference opponent, he thinks USC’s national ranking and the attention it’s generating will make the UNC game more like a conference game. “I would say it's about a $1.5 million economic kick."

It’s not just hotels and restaurants that are getting an economic kick. Justin Evans, co-owner of the Gamecock Stop, which sells USC clothing and merchandise, says, "Year-to-date we're about 40 percent over where we were last year, in terms of foot traffic and people coming in but also in sales." 

 Regan says, "I haven't seen anything like this since I've been at Carolina for 22 years."

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • PICS: Most of 100+ Dogs Seized Tues. in Laurens Have New Homes

    PICS: Most of 100+ Dogs Seized Tues. in Laurens Have New Homes

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 4:59 PM EDT2014-08-27 20:59:52 GMT
    Courtesy FacebookCourtesy Facebook
    Loaded up into out-of-town shelters’ vans or carried off in new owners’ loving arms, only about 20 of the dogs remained in Laurens County Animal Control’s pens by Wednesday afternoon.
    Loaded up into out-of-town shelters’ vans or carried off in new owners’ loving arms, only about 20 of the dogs remained in Laurens County Animal Control’s pens by Wednesday afternoon.
  • Man Accidentally Killed By Girl At Shooting Range From Greenville

    Man Accidentally Killed By Girl At Shooting Range From Greenville

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 3:56 PM EDT2014-08-27 19:56:24 GMT
    A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed a shooting instructor in Arizona as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi, authorities say.
    A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed a shooting instructor in Arizona as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi, authorities say.
  • Neighborhood Finds Out It’s in Floodplain After All

    Neighborhood Finds Out It’s in Floodplain After All

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:16 PM EDT2014-08-27 18:16:05 GMT
    The culvert on Crosscreek Lane busted when a major downpour hit the upstate earlier this month. That road is still blocked near its intersection with Eagle Ridge Lane.The culvert on Crosscreek Lane busted when a major downpour hit the upstate earlier this month. That road is still blocked near its intersection with Eagle Ridge Lane.
    Neighbors in Greenville County’s Mountainbrooke neighborhood are fired up after finding out Monday FEMA has designated parts of it as a floodplain – weeks after a culvert collapsed and flooded homes.
    Neighbors in Greenville County’s Mountainbrooke neighborhood are fired up after finding out Monday FEMA has designated parts of it as a floodplain – weeks after a culvert collapsed and flooded homes.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.