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Local economy could be out over $470 million if fans can’t attend UF Football games

It's still unknown if fans will be allowed in the Swamp this season, creating fear for business owners
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 7:07 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Any other year, it would be unlikely to find Ben Hill Griffin Stadium not filled with orange and blue fans ... but this season is already looking different.

While we know the Gators will be playing a conference-only, 10 game schedule, the pandemic has caused sports leagues at all levels to make changes to their season. This includes the start of non-spectator games.

It won’t just be football fans missing out, but the local economy could take a major loss, according to Vice President of Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, Alyssa Brown.

“There’s a very significant economic impact related to UF athletics, including football. UF-related visitors spent nearly $473 million in our community last year ... and a significant amount of that was football-related,” Brown said.

According to UF Athletic Director, Scott Stricklin, there will eventually be a uniform standard in terms of how college stadiums will welcome or not welcome fans. But with the season over a month away, there’s still hope.

“We got a lot of work to do between now and then,” Stricklin said, “but, obviously, we want to let people know as soon as possible. We want to be able to inform them what their opportunities are going to be. We want to be able to have fans. Hopefully, we will be in a position to do that.”

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