Blacksburg businesses ready for football boost

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 4:23 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - When Lane Stadium is at full capacity, there’s more than 66,000 people in Blacksburg for a football game.

Businesses see a huge jump in foot traffic those weekends.

“Hokie football is crucial to our annual business,” Owner of the Clay Corner Inn Joshua Roseberry said.

He says funds from football weekends stretch way further than many people think.

“That extra revenue is really spread out over an annual basis so it’s crucial,” Roseberry said. “Sometimes that extra revenue in September pays the light bill in January.”

On top of just trying to get through the year, his business is still trying to recover lost funds from the pandemic.

“COVID took a heavy toll on a lot of small businesses that had to take out loans, pay bills and survive during a very long pandemic so there’s a hole to dig out of there,” Roseberry said.

Mike Soriano owns four different businesses in Blacksburg.

He says, at his restaurants, staffing shortages aren’t a huge issue heading into football season, but there are some holes to fill.

“Out of the four places we probably have anywhere from 12 to 15 positions that we’re still looking to fill at all of them combined, but you’re generally understaffed in football season no matter what,” Soriano said. “We’re just going to have to work a little harder this season.”

During football season, restaurants also see a bump in sales from catering orders.

“It’s great for tailgates so people that are coming from out of town don’t have to stress about going to the grocery store making food maybe possibly in a hotel room,” Zeppoli’s Mariah Thompson said.

While business booms on those six fall Saturdays, restaurants realize it’s not always that way.

“There are as many slow weeks throughout the year as there are busy weeks of football season so they kind of they kind of balance out those slow ones,” Soriano said.