MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Last year, the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl had a $15 million economic impact on the city of Montgomery.
They won't know how much money this year's game brought in until next year, but Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said he thinks it will be even bigger than last year's impact.
Strange estimates that more than 18,000 people were in the stands for the fourth annual Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, which means thousands of people from out of town had to spend the night and eat somewhere in Montgomery.
"The fact that we had about 8,000 people coming from the two universities and they're going to be here probably two nights, that's going to really do something. The whole excitement that surrounds it, you know, you can't measure the exposure that you get but we would think it'd be in that $15 to $17 million range. We'll know that probably in about 45 days," Strange said.
WSFA spoke with the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa and the Embassy Suites. Both hotels said they were fully booked over the weekend.
"The fact that you're going to have 100 percent occupancy for a couple- three days, you're going to have standing lines in restaurants and all the other things that go along with it," said Strange. "It's going to be extremely positive. Just think if we didn't have that... a very slow period for hotels, it would not bode well for the economy."
The Raycom Media Camellia Bowl also gives the city of Montgomery national exposure.
"Everybody there that was associated with it was really happy about it. ESPN was happy, Raycom was happy and Montgomery will in fact reap the benefits of having it in the prime time of TV, because we had four or five of the national audiences see some promotions right from Montgomery, Alabama, and they'll become our new ambassadors," said Strange.