JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl is just days away and Jacksonville businesses are preparing for the boost in sales.
Texas A&M and North Carolina State will go head-to-head at TIAA Bank Field on New Year’s Eve. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Tens of thousands of fans have made their way to the River City for the big game. It’s a tradition that continues to pay off in terms of the local economy. With this year's event happening on New Year's Eve, businesses, including Intuition Ale Works, are getting ready. The tap room is within walking distance of the stadium.
The managers said having the game in Jacksonville is a win for everybody.
"Our plan -- because we're never open on Mondays -- is to open up for people for the TaxSlayer Bowl. Let them enjoy a drink or two before heading out to the game," said Bronson Olympia, manager of Intuition's tap room.
He adds the brewery has seen some nice little boosts in business thanks to the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. They're planning for this year to be no different.
Jax Sports Council estimated that over the years, around 20,000 to 25,000 visitors came to the River City for the game. During those visits, $12 million to $14 million went directly into Duval County's economy. During the game, hotels in Duval County are on average at 95 percent occupancy with $120 per night average rates.
Olympia has seen the boost at Intuition, but said having the chance to connect with people from all walks of life is also a reward.
"We have a great tie to the local community. But any time we get a chance to touch base with other markets and people from out of town, that's great for us. That's what this does. The TaxSlayer Bowl brings people in," Olympia said.
Each team is holding a pep rally before the game.
The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl president will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. Thursday to release more about other events, transportation and parking.