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Duke's Mayo Classic pumped nearly $49M into the Charlotte economy, study says

Charlotte Sports Foundation

An economic impact study shows this year’s Duke’s Mayo Classic college football games brought a lot of visitors and nearly $49 million to the Charlotte region.

The report from the Charlotte Sports Foundation found the Labor Day weekend football games generated $26.2 million in direct visitor spending, and $1.4 million in Mecklenburg County sales and hospitality taxes.

More than 110,000 spectators filled Bank of America Stadium to watch Appalachian State take on East Carolina and Georgia play against Clemson. The Georgia-Clemson game, alone, drew 74,187 people.

“These numbers are just one indicator that demonstrate the amazing impact sports can have on our great city,” Charlotte Sports Foundation Board of Directors co-chairs Andrea Smith and Johnny Harris said in a statement. “Events like the Duke’s Mayo Classic games bring visitors from around the country, which are vital for the success of our hospitality industry.”

The hospitality industry, especially hotels, has been hit hard during the pandemic. The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association says the industry had laid off half of its workforce by April 2020. The economic impact report says football fans booked 28,623 hotel rooms on Sept. 4, setting a single day record for Mecklenburg County.

“We’re grateful for the partnerships that made the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Classic so memorable and impactful to the hospitality industry,” said Tom Murray, Chief Executive Officer of Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

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