Thousands Of College Fans Expected To Pour Into Starkvegas This Weekend

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- This weekend makes for an exciting time to be a fan of Mississippi State athletics.

Fans have the luxury of watching three teams in action over the weekend.

The MSU Baseball teams opens up conference play, the women’s tennis team will take the court, and of course, everything will be capped off when the women’s basketball team plays in the NCAA Tournament.

The full slate of games are expected to draw thousands of college fans into Starkville, resulting in what many are calling a dream weekend for those who love Maroon and White.

“I’m really excited about everything,” said Peyton Jones, who’s a big MSU fan. “Basketball is really popping right now, baseball with the new stadium, it’s a lot of things to be excited for if you’re a MSU athletics fan.”

“It’s good to know that the university is growing, that the fan-base is growing, and that our program is growing,” said John Robert Walker, who’s been a fan of MSU athletics for several years.

Walker said the thing he’s most excited about this weekend is watching the women’s team play in the NCAA tournament.

“I mean, the excitement of maybe having the chance of winning and making it to the national championship.”

However, while Walker is excited for some hoops, others have their attention set on the baseball diamond this weekend.

“As a former baseball athlete myself, the top 20 match up like Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, you know it’s a classic especially here at the new Dude, so I’m really excited about that,” said Jones.

With the fans split between their favorite teams to watch, one thing remains certain, the busy weekend will make for a big economic boost for local businesses.

“It’s just like being in a much bigger city,” said Bobby Craig, store manager at Sports Center in Starkville.  “In a store our size it’ll be people all over the place. We will be running from here to there trying to help people and make sure they can find what they’re looking for.”

Craig said the store has been prepared well in advance for the big rush.

They’re bringing in extra staff and making sure everything is well stocked.

“Starkville tends to be a hub and if you’re not prepared, you’re not going to be able to provide good service,” Craig expressed.

“I love the chaos,” said Melissa Shoemake, assistant general manager at the Hilton Garden Inn in Starkville. “I love the chaos, like it being busy.”

Shoemake said they’re also reaping the benefits of the busy weekend.

Not only are they all booked up, but three of the opposing teams are staying at the hotel this weekend.

“It’s one of those things we really need actually because, I think this town kind of depends on that,” Shoemake explained. “It depends on things like this coming in for us, not just the hotel but the entire town.”

The MSU baseball team will face Vanderbilt at 1 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday.

The women’s tennis team will face Kentucky at 12 P.M. on Saturday, and the women’s basketball team will be in action against Nicholls State University Saturday evening at 5 P.M.

Categories: Local News

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