Kick off may not be until Saturday night, but the City of Canyon is already seeing an economic boom... Thanks to the much anticipated West Texas A&M football game.
It's the first time a number one ranked team has come to Canyon to play the Buffs. The stadium is meant to hold about 20,000 people, but the most they've ever packed in Kimbrough Stadium was close to 23,000 and WT is hoping to break that record this weekend.
WT Athletics Director Michael McBroom says, "There's a lot of pressure on our teams. There's a lot of anticipation." Joel VanRavenswaay traveled more than one thousand miles to see the much anticipated event first hand. "There's about 80 people in our group, who all flew in on separate flights."
They've all come armed with Grand Valley State t-shirts and money in their wallets. "Oh we've brought our fair share." And that's exactly what the city of canyon likes to hear. Cheryl Malcolm with the Canyon Chamber of Commerce says, "WT football equals means economy for Canyon."
We spoke with several local hotels who all say they are booked for this weekend's big game and they're actually having to turn people away.
Since most of the tickets are purchased on game-day, no one knows exactly how many people to expect, but the Athletics Department says they have sold more pre-order tickets than ever before.
They're making some changes to help accommodate the large crowds.
The biggest is a brand new alumni association deck, which is expected to house tailgaters on Saturday afternoon.
McBroom says Saturday's game against number one ranked Grand Valley State is not only great for the city but for the school itself... The big game puts WT in the spotlight... And as a result fuels school spirit and bolsters alumni support.