Hattiesburg prepares for economic impact from MHSAA championships

Hattiesburg expects economic impact from MHSAA championships

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hotels and businesses are gearing up for upwards of 40,000 people to visit Hattiesburg this weekend. The high school football state championships are being held on Friday and Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.

“We anticipate about $2.3 million in visitor spending here in Hattiesburg as a direct result of these six high school championship games,” said Marlo Dorsey, executive director for Visit Hattiesburg.

This number is based off of last years’ revenue results and a slight increase to account for the local Pine Belt teams.

The hotels around town will experience an increase in guests this weekend.

“We are almost sold out, so I would encourage people to go ahead and get their rooms reserved, they’re going to go quickly,” said Kelsey Barrett, director of sales for Hotel Indigo in the District at Midtown.

Restaurants are also looking forward to having more people in town. Visit Hattiesburg said they should see a $1.6 million over the two-day period.

There is an expected 890 players and coaches combined coming into town. To account for meals for the team, on an average of $30 per day, that equals a little over $26,000.

Adding the expected 40,000 fans and family watching, that gives an increase of $1.6 million.

Many restaurants will be able to take advantage of hungry fans and players. One of the newer places to eat, The Yard Milkshake Bar, is going to experience this state championship weekend for the first time.

“We’re already blasted on Saturdays, that is our busiest day of the week, but this weekend we’re definitely gearing up going to be more staff more prepared,” said Katie Vanderheiden, general manager of The Yard Milkshake Bar.

Cesaley Hammond, a server at Rock-N-Roll Sushi, can’t wait to cash in on the people coming to eat.

“I’m working Friday night and Saturday night and we’re usually busy anyways, but we like to prepare and with the state football going on with Oxford and Oak Grove, we do expect a little more people coming in and it’s good for our servers, more money,” Hammond said.

Tickets for the game are $15 each. Here’s next weekend’s MHSAA state championship schedule.

Friday, December 6:

Class 3A

  • 11 a.m. — Noxubee County (10-5) vs. Jefferson Davis County (9-6)

Class 1A

  • 3 p.m. — Nanih Waiya (13-1) vs. Lumberton (12-3)

Class 6A

  • 7 p.m. — Oxford (13-1) vs. Oak Grove (11-3)

Saturday, December 7:

Class 4A

  • 11 a.m. — Corinth (13-1) vs. Poplarville (9-5)

Class 2A

  • 3 p.m. — Northside (14-0) vs. Taylorsville (14-1)

Class 5A

  • 7 p.m. — West Point (14-1) vs. Picayune (14-0)

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