University of Missouri football helps the economy

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri Tigers take the field in the SEC Championship game in just three days. According to local businesses, the Tigers' winning ways this season have done more than just make people feel good.

"It impacts Columbia in a very positive way, winning football much more so than a program that is not doing so well," said Columbia restaurant owner Matt Jenne.

This year, MU football only lost one game compared to seven last year.

"When the team is successful people are more willing to travel whether or not they are from Missouri or another school," said Megan McConachie, with Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

When ABC 17 News pulled the attendance records for this year and last year's games, that showed.

Both seasons had three sell-out games. However, in 2013, those games were after Oct. 15, whereas last year's they were before.

" I think we've definitely had a lot of people in this year that we haven't had before," said McConachie.

Megan McConachi worked with MU's Business school and the Chamber of Commerce to complete an economic impact study for MU athletics.

In 2012, the study showed joining the SEC increased economic impact in Columbia by $15 million.

"The impact generally comes much more so in the second year," said Jenne. Referring to MU's football season more than five years ago.

 "In 2007, when we were really good, we saw a big impact in 2008. 2008 was actually bigger for us as far as business goes," said Jenne.

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