Thousands of visitors are heading our way for Notre Dame's first home football game. Crowds will soon pack into bars, restaurants, shops, and hotels – and local businesses could not be more excited.
The South Bend/Mishawaka Convention and Visitors Bureau pegs the figure at about $10 million per home football game that flow into the local economy.
Among the spenders is Mark Bennett, who just arrived from New York.
“We're renting a house and by the time we spend 3 or 4 days here you know it's a couple hundred dollars probably at least,” he said.
At The Mark Dine and Tap, on Eddy St. near campus, it'll be all hands on deck this weekend.
“From dinner Friday through the end of lunch on Sunday we should be rocking all weekend long,” said Jonathan Lutz, owner.
Good luck getting reservations, they're almost completely booked.
“This is what it's all about. It's finally football season,” said Rob DeCleene, executive director of the South Bend/Mishawaka Convention and Visitors Bureau.
But will it be as robust a boost to the economy as in previous years? Keep in mind a lot of fans already spent a good chunk flying to Ireland for the season opener.
“We're going to have 81,000 seats filled in that stadium and cheering on the Irish and plenty more people tailgaiting beyond that,” said DeCleene.
Business owners expect a sellout crowd to eat, drink, and shop their way through town, regardless of what happens on the field.
“There's no more exciting time in South Bend than the fall,” said DeCleene.