KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- Events like the NCAA Tournament bring in a lot of tourists to Knoxville, and as the fan base for UT baseball grows so does the economic impact on our area from hosting these types of events.
This tournament is bringing in people from all across the region and not only is it financially good for UT but it’s good for Knoxville as a whole.
Maryville native Chad Tipton said, “it’s good for our economy it’s good for Knoxville, it’s good for East Tennessee.”
Chad and his wife Megan Tipton haven’t missed a baseball game yet.
“They’re on a roll,” Tipton said. “We just got to keep it rolling into regionals, into super regionals, and beyond.”
As the fan base for UT baseball grows so does the economic impact on Knoxville.
“Anytime that the University of Tennessee is playing sports, whether its baseball to football to basketball, it drives tax dollars,” said Visit Knoxville President Kim Bumpas.
Those extra tax dollars are coming from locals and out-of-towners alike.
Kayvon Dibai traveled to Knoxville from Georgia. “It took me about three and a half hours to come,” Dibai said. “I live in the suburbs of Atlanta so it was a three and a half-hour drive. Not too much traffic so it was great.”
Dibai didn’t just come to cheer on his team for the tournament but to spend some quality time with friends.
He said their plans this weekend include, “just walking around campus, maybe explore the city, I haven’t been to Knoxville before so we’ll see.”
The VolShop is also enjoying a boost during major sporting events.
“People come in to visit our shop on the way to the game but also we have places set up at the game,” said VolShop Marketing Manager Tommi Grubbs.
So many people are stepping up to the plate, that they are having to make room for more fans to attend games. University of Tennessee Athletics unveiled plans to make Lindsey Nelson Stadium ‘one of the most premier college baseball venues in the country.’
UT Associate Athletics Director For Fan Experience & Marketing, Jimmy Delaney, explained, “now it’s time to take that next step with Tennessee baseball and the stadium and renovate and build up a world-class stadium. Something great for our team but even better for our fans.”