Fall is in the air this week and on Saturday, Kenan Stadium and the campus will be alive with the sights and sounds of football. But it doesn’t stop at the edges of the campus – the entire community is enlivened by home football. Saturday is the first of seven home games, including a first time Thursday night game on October 22d.
Each game is an opportunity to welcome thousands of visitors to our community and show them some Tar Heel hospitality. Last year, eight Chapel Hill area organizations united to produce the “Touch Downtown Chapel Hill” campaign with the shared goal of bolstering the community, hometown spirit and economic activity during football weekends and that effort continues this year. The economic impact of one football weekend in Chapel Hill is $6.7 million, according to a recent study.
It’s good and smart that both UNC and our local businesses are working hard to get the message out that we value and appreciate the business that both new and seasoned fans will do in our community when they come to a game. The “Touch Downtown” will strive to encourage football fans, both residents and visitors, to start early and stay late in the Chapel Hill area after the game ends and enjoy nearly 100 restaurants, 50 specialty stores and a mile of family cultural attractions.
I think we all understand that a rising tide lifts all boats, so we will all benefit from being a warm and welcoming community. Sure, there are inconveniences but let’s focus on the benefits to UNC and our entire community. GO HEELS!