Posted: Sep 1, 2012 11:05 AM by Tong Gao
Updated: Sep 1, 2012 6:55 PM
COLUMBIA - With the Missouri Tigers kicking off the inaugural SEC season this weekend, local restaurants and bars are getting ready to serve the bigger crowds.
Employees at Shakespeare's Pizza usually roll 600 pizzas on a typical Saturday, but on game days, they have to prepare for 1,000 pizzas.
General Manager Tobias Epstein said he's added a tent outside in order to have more spaces. "We probably add about 75 chairs for the restaurant," Epstein said. "They [game days] mean everything to local businesses that are particularly located close to the university."
Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Amy Shnelder said game day visitors will bring extra revenue to the City of Columbia.
"Fans with the Southeast Conference stay longer," Shnelder said. "There are longer distances to come here. So they are going to come in to make sure they have places to stay."
Mike O'Brien, kitchen manager at Campus Bar and Grill, said his restaurant has stocked double inventories to make sure they won't run out of anything. "With higher competition, the fans are a lot more enthusiastic," O'Brien said about the SEC games. "They'll travel further, so we will have a lot more people traveling from down South to Columbia."
Saturday's game is non conference game against Southeast Louisiana State. The SEC home opener is September 7 against Georgia.