UF Basketball's Winning Streak Benefits Local Businesses
GAINESVILLE - More wins may mean more bucks. The University of Florida men's basketball team is ranked number 3 in the country. And there was yet another win for the team today, in a continuous streak of home-victories. However the fans and the team aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits, so are the local businesses.
Florida hosted Alabama at the O'Dome today. The fans I talked to tell me their happy for this win. In fact, Florida has extended a school record for the most consecutive home wins. Something businesses in the area are also very happy about.
"I've been a gator fan since I was in my mom's tummy." Terissa Nutt has been a gator fan from the womb-- literally. "She actually went into labor with me at a football game right over there so you can say I was born a gator," Nutt said.
Nutt enjoys every gator related game-- especially basketball. The Associated Press Poll has ranked Florida men's basketball team at number 3.
"We have to take down all the other sec teams, we gotta keep strong. We usually always fall to when we get highly ranked, so I am pumped up. We have to stay on top," Thomas Spoto another gator fan said.
We can definitely say the game's turnout was substantial as tickets were sold out. Austin Martin a 10-year-old gator fan who checked out the game said, "The gators are going to blow out Alabama." And that's exactly what happened as the gators beat the crimson tide 78 to 69.
The lucky streak is well received not only by fans but by business owners in the area. Steven Kay the owner of The Coop which recently opened up in midtown looks forward to games.
"If it's an early game like this one not so much before but definitely after-- If it’s like a 4 o'clock game then we will see the effects before and after. But there's definitely a jump when the gators are doing well whether in football or basketball, last Saturday we were busier than we were super bowl Sunday and that was because of the gator games," Kay said.
Kay also feels it's tough to gage what is a result of the gator's success and what is the result of being new in town. But the victories can't hurt he says.
"It's fantastic; it's good for the entire community... Not just this restaurant but all the restaurants all the businesses feel a bump and that is important for the local economy because I am not the only restaurant out here, I am not the only business owner. Everyone in this town thrives off when the gator athletics are doing well and the students are in town and everything," Kay added.
Florida has won 29 straight home games after defeating Alabama today. The next Florida gators men's basketball game is on Tuesday against Tennessee at 7pm.
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