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Economic impact expected from SEC home openers

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 9/02/2013 7:55 pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- Whether it's "Hotty Toddy" or "Hail State" this weekend, there will be plenty of visitors pouring into both stadiums to take in the first home game of the year for the two SEC schools.

Not only are fans of both teams getting excited, but also businesses in Oxford and Starkville are prepared just like the teams for a big turnout.

And despite the games being days away, many say it's not too early to start gearing up for game day.

In fact, they say its become a ritual that they've become very accustomed to.

At Harvey's Restaurant in Starkville, they know that a couple of hours before game time, these empty seats will be filled to capacity.

"We're expecting a large crowd," manager Catherine Tiffin said. "We've picked up since school's started but football season is like no other season here in Starkville, and we are super excited for it."

She says an afternoon game brings an especially big crowd -- not  once but twice -- because fans return after the contest as well.

She adds that hotels and other restaurants will benefit also, adding that the bigger the on-field rivalry, the bigger the crowds.

The same can be said right next door for the Lodge which sells all things MSU.

"[It's] mass chaos," store manager Kathy Roman said. "It's as busy as can be."

Oxford is Rebel country, of course, but when it comes to game day business, the town has a lot in common with Starkville.

"It usually brings about 50.000 more people into this store which increases our sales dramatically. And we're really looking forward to all six home games in a row. We're hoping for a lot of business and a lot of traffic because I know the Square will be packed," says Angela Pettit of My Favorite Shoes, a store on the Square.

Apparently no matter how the games come out this weekend, the merchants will come out a winner. 

The Rebels and the Bulldogs each have seven home games this year.
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