Knoxville businesses thrive during big rivalry games

Rivalry games draw people and dollars to Knoxville

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The football game against Alabama is drawing people and money in Knoxville.

“We went to Stock and Barrel and it was excellent,” said Marty Saucier, an Alabama fan.

Fans from out of the area come to Knoxville frequently for this game.

“We have not missed a Tennessee home game since 1988,” said an Alabama fan.

The fans are contributing to the local economy by going to restaurants and staying in hotels. Local owners are loving it.

“We are completely booked up in reservations for brunch and Saturday after the game,” Demi Klonaris, owner of Cafe 4.

Big rivalry games mean more customers.

“Big games really help us out, people come to market square and stay in all the local hotels,” said Klonaris.

Hotels are also staying busy.

“Alabama fans travel very well and if you are a Tennessee fan this is one of the games you circle that you come to,” said Ken Knight, manager of Crowne Plaza hotel.

Knight said fans were planning to come to this game months in advance.

“As soon as the schedule comes out, people want to snatch it up as soon as it is available,” said Knight.

Businesses have also been planning for the big game against Alabama.

“We definitely have more staff on busier days to deal with heavier volume,” said Klonaris.

The Alabama vs. Tennessee match up is more than just a game for these businesses.

“We love having them. Everyone is here to have a good time. Lot of excitement in the air,” said Knight.

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