Starkville businesses are preparing for a busy football weekend
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are taking on the Alabama Crimson Tide
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- It’s one of the biggest home games of the season. The Mississippi State Bulldogs are taking on the Alabama Crimson Tide.
While the players are focused on what happens on the field; workers and business owners are stepping up their game in the city’s restaurants, shops, hotels, and bars.
“You know Alabama their team travels well so we expect a lot of Crimson Tide fans here. Saturday’s going to be a day full of tailgating and attending the game and cheering on our bulldogs,” said Starkville Partnership director of tourism Paige Hunt.
Hunt said they anticipate a large turnout of Alabama and Mississippi State fans to fill the streets and stands in Starkville; while many have already found a place to lay their heads.
“Our hotels are always impacted anytime Mississippi State has a large event and football weekends are absolutely no exception we have 868 hotel rooms in the city and they’re all full this weekend and that’s exciting,” said Hunt.
Some of those fans are spreading the wealth. Hotels across the Golden Triangle sold out.
“We usually book out especially for home weekends we are booked out solid immediately. You know we have our guests are ready and waiting to push that button as soon as they know there’s some availability out there so we’ve been sold out now for the last couple of weeks,” said the sales manager of the Hilton Garden Inn in Starkville Stephanie Avent.
Avent said she’s seen new faces and regulars come through the doors all season, but for a big game weekend; they’re calling up all the reserves.
“We may bring in a few extra hands the ones that may be off at times just to make sure that we have our guests you know fully taken care of whether it be from housekeeping to breakfast,” said Avent.
It’s not just hotels that are prepared and booked up.
“We’ve been preparing for two weeks, we’ve maxed out on our catering we can’t take any more catering. We had to bring in some extra staff to help out so everybody has a place and a responsibility this weekend and be on point,” said the owner of Little Dooey in Starkville Bart Wood.
On Friday, October 15, 2021, the Crimson Tide baseball team faces off on the diamond against the College World Series Champion Bulldogs for a scrimmage. Hunt said she’s hopeful that will draw more fans and families to their downtown events
“Unwine will be on Friday night before the Alabama game and all of our local retailers and our downtown district stay open late and you can buy a ticket and sip and see and shop in downtown and it just gets people out and about,” said Hunt.
Hunt said that families and fans are encouraged to stick around for Sunday brunch at local restaurants.