Big Game Brings in Big Money to Oxford
(Oxford, MS) It’s going to be a big football weekend in Oxford.
Honestly, every weekend is big for football at Ole Miss, but this weekend’s home game against Texas includes a prime time ESPN game and a flood of high-spending Texas fans coming to town.
When 14th ranked Texas comes here to Oxford to take on Ole Miss, it’s not only expected to fill Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, it’s expected to fill the town of Oxford to capacity.
Owen Sale and his wife run the Oak Hill Stables bed and breakfast which can accommodate up to seventy people.
They’ve been booked for about a year, but say as the game drew closer, football fans started offering ever higher prices for any house or room they could get, ”We’ve heard of a lot of people renting out their homes for thousands of dollars. Our rates are much more affordable”.
Lots of people compare this weekend to that of the big LSU game back in 2003, saying Ole Miss regularly fills the town, ”But we see big weekends every year, every time we get a crowd from Alabama, and Tennessee. They come to town, they travel hard and they spend hard” said chef/restaurateur John Currence.
But this game’s different, with celebrity names floating around like that of Texas alum Matthew McConaughey who’s rumored to have rented out the entire City Grocery this weekend.
The owner says it’s not true.
”It’s interesting to me how much those rumors have circulated but how few people actually contacted us to find out if there’s any truth to the ones about City Grocery,” explained Currence.
He’s has three hundred reservations for Friday night alone and says Oxford will get crazy crowded.
“I expect traffic from Thursday all the way through Sunday night to be pretty rough,” said Police Chief Mike Martin.
But that also means lots of money. How much? Many expect a double-digit increase in profit from their next busiest weekend.
”I think it’s gonna be a real economic boon for the town. We’ve heard of other being filled and we’ve been sending our overflow to acquaintances and friends for several months,” said Sale.