Albany State Homecoming brings crowds to town - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany State Homecoming brings crowds to town

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Albany's four Million dollar weekend is fast approaching. Albany State University's Homecoming has a huge impact on the economy.

Thousands of alumni, and fans will not only pack the stadium this weekend, they'll also pack stores, restaurants and hotels. And the businesses are ready to welcome them with open arms.

Blue and Gold Ribbons are hanging from doors, Marquees welcome ASU Alumni and fans and hotels are already booked solid for the weekend. And business leaders we spoke to say it's time for Albany to play ball.

Albany State Senior Sarah Mack will be kicking off the football game with the national anthem on Saturday. But when she's not serving up song on the football field, she'll be here at Maryland's Fried Chicken serving customers, including ASU alumni.

"We're looking for a lot of customers to come, so that's good," She said.

It's actually great news, says owner Richard King. He says this economy has been rocky, but he knows this weekend will rock for business.

"It's really been a struggle, so we need these people and it's great that they do come back, even if it's just for that one weekend, we appreciate them," King said.

Many of the alumni dined at Maryland's when they lived in Albany. Now, they bring back friends and family members and don't mind dropping their money while they're here.

"Not only do they spend money without flinching, whatever they've done, they've done well, but they are so complimentary of us being here and they appreciate us," said King.

But not as much as businesses like his will appreciate them. Not only will they pack the restaurants, they'll be staying in our hotels, which are fully booked.

"They'll be people, people everywhere," said Jaye Lomax of Sleep Inn, "and they will spend money. These alumni that come here, they spend money, so it's huge."

Time for everyone in Albany to put on their game faces for the big game. "This is our show time," said Lomax. "Come on, let's go. Go Rams!"

The Chamber of Commerce is encouraging every business in town to welcome alumni and fans by putting up Blue and Gold ribbons and signs welcoming them to town.

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