Clemson businesses bracing for the possibility of no football

Local News

CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA)- In a college football town like Clemson, many businesses rely on the revenue from thousands of people who show up on game weekends to watch the Tigers play.

“A normal game day, I’m sure for everyone in Clemson, is absolutely insane. Body to body. You cannot find a parking spot,” said Mari Beth Gambrell, who works at a boutique in downtown Clemson.

Now those businesses are wondering what to do if Clemson Football doesn’t happen this season.

Owner of Your Pie Pizza Doug Zirbel says he sees most of his revenue for the year from those home game weekends.

“Football weekends generate a large surge, probably three times as much compared to a normal weekend,” Zirbel said. “So you know if you compare the population of the area, 20,000-25,000 with the school and then you’re gonna have 100,000 in town for that 3 day weekend, most people stay for a long period.”

 The city leaders are aware of the impact it may have.

Clemson Mayor J.C. Cook said Clemson with no football would be a devastation.

“If we were to lose football season and lose students this semester, that would be a huge devastation to them,” Mayor Cook said. “There’s not one business in town that’s not affected by football season in one way or another.”

However, Mayor Cook said they’re just doing the best they can.

“We’re trying to help businesses all we can. First of all by passing a lean mean budget with no tax increases,” Mayor Cook said. “Also, we have given businesses in the hospitality and lodging industry discounts on their local accommodations and hospitality taxes.”

Mayor Cook said if football doesn’t happen in the fall, they may have to continue to give those businesses discounts to help them stay afloat.

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