Local businesses gear up for college bowl games

Posted at 6:18 PM, Dec 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-28 18:18:36-05

It's less than one week until the first bowl game in Tampa and the National College Championships right after. Tens of thousands of fans mean a boost to local businesses and workers.

Chefs, bartenders and fans are anxiously awaiting the Outback Bowl and National College Championships.

The newest World of Beer location near Raymond James Stadium opened about a month ago, perfectly timed for the bowl games.

They started hiring extra staff during the holidays before the Outback Bowl next week.

“We’ve got the Florida Gators, and Gainesville is just a couple of hours up the road so we kind of look at it as almost a home town team is in one of the major bowl games so it was really important that we got this location open in time,” Dave Reid, VP of Operations for World of Beer, said.

They plan to keep World of Beer open until the last football fan is ready to leave and said they're ready for a huge turnout.

“I think that there’s a really good chance that between the two bowl games that we could see around a 50% increase," Reid said. "So we order big, so we’re going to have big food orders, big beer orders.”

Local restaurants are also anticipating a jump in sales.

Holy Hog Barbecue said they'll be ready for last minute catering orders, but a lot depends on who makes it into the championship game.

“There’s going to be a lot of out of state and they’re going to come in with a quick turnaround and go back, I have a feeling we’re going to be doubling if not tripling our orders,” Catering Director Tabitha Rodriguez said.

They're already scheduling extra staff to get that barbecue ready and serve it.

“I think it’s all going to happen at one time so my cell phone’s going to be going, my e-mails going to be going, and I’m going to need to pull out all the stops with help," Rodriguez said.

The Outback Bowl is January 2, 2017 and The National College Football Championship game is January 9, 2017.