The Montana Grizzlies faced the Central Washington Wildcats, and it was quite a day. It’s a big deal for alumni, long-time fans and students new and old. It’s also good for business.
Football in Missoula isn’t anything to take lightly. It routinely boosts the local economy, fills up the hotels and bars, and ensures businesses that might not be open, are.
I couldn’t find any concrete numbers after a few quick searches on Google, but Washington-Grizzly stadium can hold 25,217 people. Since prices range from $33.75 to $40.75 then you know university is making between $851,000 and just over $1 million per game.
Oh, but students get tickets for free. Well, how many of those freeloaders go to the games? (I paid $5 to make up for that incompetent-management-caused-deficit nearly 10 years ago, money I could have used to buy four tall cans).
Since enrollment at the university hovers around 13,000, and since we know that not all students go to the games…let’s just be generous and say 10,000. So that leaves us with 15,217 people paying for a ticket, which brings in between $513,000 and $620,000.
But you know some people are paying more and then there’s the food and the drinks and all the rest of it. That stadium is money-making machine!
But I hadn’t seen that machine in action in 7 years, at least not since the last game of the season back in 2007 when the Griz lost in a bitter home game under the shipped-in Friday night lights that did wonders to highlight the thousands of visible exhalations of breath in the frigid nighttime air.
I decided to remedy that today by hopping on my bike and hitting the Kim Williams Trail all the way up from my place near Reserve to the university. I brought my big camera along – I’m a cheap bastard and have one of those $15 Verizon Walmart phones – so I could get some ‘interesting’ photos.
The Montana Grizzly Home Game in Missoula, September 6, 2014
When I was going to school the games would start at 1 PM, but today it started at 3:37…meaning people had a lot more time to get liquored-up.
I parked my bike along the rickety chain link fence I’d always parked next to during home games before, back when I had my silver cowboy hat and maroon feather.
You’ll see lots of interesting costume like that, but I didn’t see much today. Of course the main tailgate area is right there in front of the Campus Fitness and Recreation Center, where I used to clean windows and mirrors for many years. Outside that place is packed, as you can see:
What will next week hold? Probably more drinking, loud shouting, and thousands of people having a good time – I’m pretty sure of that. I’m also pretty sure I’ll head up the mountain for the last game this year, which will hopefully be in December.
If I can get the same shots I got today it’ll be something. It’ll also be something if I don’t freeze to death!
Until then, enjoy the next home game!