An excerpt from the Ashland-Times (Ohio) Gazette. To read the entire article, click here.
By GINGER CHRIST
T-G Staff Writer
Local businesses anticipate brisk sales this weekend as Ashland University hosts its first football playoff game in history.
As Ashland University and Minnesota State prepare to face off on the gridiron today, local merchants are cheering not only for the Eagles, but for the increased business AU sports attract to the area.
“When it’s football season, I’m excited,” Perkins manager Mike Baker said. “I think AU does a fantastic job of supporting the community, and they deserve our support in return.”
Baker said football brings people into town. . .
. . . This weekend is one of those weekends when AU’s presence in the community will be felt.
The college will host men and women’s swimming, men and women’s basketball and wrestling events in addition to the football playoff game.
“When people come in like that, they do buy gas. They buy food. They stop at the convenience stores,” Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce President Marla Akridge said. “It’s hard to put a number on it, but each person will spend some money here.”
Even some businesses that seem less driven by visitors could get a boost, according to Akridge. She said she wouldn’t be surprised if a laundromat was positively impacted.
One organization that receives a boost from playoff sports is Brethren Boys ministry at Southview Grace Brethren Church. The church, which is on Katherine Avenue, charges for parking during high school football playoff games and all proceeds benefit the boys ministry.