LUBBOCK, Texas — We all know Texas Tech fans are some of the best out there, and while most are current students and alumni, John Osborne with the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance said local business owners are glad that football is back too.
“There’s a lot of excitement around this community, not just from the fans, but also even in the business community, because there’s such a huge impact on the business community as a result of football season coming in,” Osborne said.
Kaitlyn Neal with The Matador said they’ve already seen a boost in customers with fans coming in to shop for game day gear.
“Business has been trending way up since they’ve come back, and with the excitement that Coach McGuire has brought into the community, it’s just been amazing to watch them come in,” said Neal.
Osborne said that infectious, optimistic energy at the start of every season is more important for the local economy than you might think, especially if the Red Raiders have a great year that many are expecting to see.
“A lot of the impact actually depends on how good the season is going,” said Osborne. “There’s people going to the games, people tailgating and getting their neighbors to just come over at their own house or going out to eat. All of that buying activity is going to generate a tremendous amount of economic impact. As they continue to win games–and we know that’s what’s going to happen again this year, we’re going to see an even greater buildup of economic impact.”
Restaurants, bars and shops see a lot of that impact, but so do the dozens of hotels and Airbnb’s in Lubbock, who host fans coming in for games.
“We are oftentimes sold out on those weekends that are home games, and what we found is there are other events that are going on in our community, even during football weekends,” said Osborne.
Neal added that while football is good for business, it’s also great for bringing a community together.
“Football season itself in Texas is huge, but here in Lubbock, we really love our Texas Tech Red Raiders and at The Matador, we want to just make the Red Raiders feel supported,” Neal said. “We want them to wear our stuff out and feel proud to be Red Raiders.”
According to Osborne, exact numbers can be difficult to pinpoint with people buying all sorts of things throughout football season. But he said last fall the city saw a 2.5% increase in sales tax revenue compared to the spring, and they’re hoping to see another jump this year.