“Cha Ching!” This is the sound that’s expected to be heard all throughout Charlotte with the arrival of Charlotte 49ers football later this month. Although the uniforms are green, that is also the color many local business should be seeing as well. Everything from local restaurants–which fans will flock to after their hunger for football has been satisfied, to hotels–which should see an influx of fans and fans of our opponents from both near and far, to local sporting-goods stores–with everyone trying to get their hands on a jersey, hat, car flag, t-shirt or anything to let everyone know they are a part of Niner Nation, should also see a financial impact moving forward.
The University as a whole should also benefit with the arrival of football as well. With more attention both locally and nationally being focused on the university, we should soon see an increase in applicants for admissions because how could you not fall in love with our beautiful, state of the art campus (I am completely biased). With more students comes a need for more construction to accommodate the impending growth.
Most importantly, and this cannot be understated, the arrival of football will bring more jobs to the community. With the country as a whole suffering from a high rate of unemployment, it is wonderful that an opportunity is becoming available to put people to work. Upon recently talking to a native Charlottean (hard to find these days) about the upcoming football season for the 49ers, he recalled a time in Charlotte when the Carolina Panthers were just an idea in Jerry Richardson’s head. He described how uptown Charlotte was nothing like many of us envision it today.
“It was mainly just office buildings.” he stated. “Not nearly as many restaurants or hotels as you see today. It was similar to a western movie when you see the tumbleweed roll by. That was Charlotte before the Panthers arrived.”
After the tumbleweed rolled out of town a new football team, the Carolina Panthers, rolled right in behind it, bringing various economic opportunities in the form of jobs in and around the stadium, such as vendors or parking lot attendants, to bars and nightclubs, shops, a light rail transportation system and various other profitable endeavors that probably would not have been available without the team.
Ultimately moving forward, the local economy should benefit greatly with the arrival of Charlotte 49ers football, similar to when the Panthers came to town. So throughout the season, take one last good look at the community around campus (and the campus itself) because soon you might not even recognize it due to the impending growth.