2009-11-24

Athens Businesses Being Hurt By UGA Night Games on ESPN

When I set out to write this story, it was not what I anticipated. As one who likes to find silver linings, I thought I would be writing about a positive local economic impact from the new 15-year Southeastern Conference TV deal.

Here is an extract of the story and the link to the full piece.

ESPN, SEC Contract Part of Perfect Storm Killing Athens (GA) Businesses

In a smaller college town like Athens, Georgia, football season is more than a sport played in the late summer and fall. It is the economic engine that keeps many downtown Athens businesses, hotels, and restaurants afloat for much of the rest of the year. It is also a sport that, in theory, provides much needed sales tax revenue for the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County.

But something has changed this year as the Southeastern Conference (SEC) enters the first year of a 15-year television contract with CBS Sports and ESPN. Businesses in downtown Athens are hurting.

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