Georgia Fans' Impact on Columbia Business

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COLUMBIA - It was a little over one week ago that Georgia fans traveled to Columbia in droves for Missouri's first SEC game.

But did the game generate more business for downtown than previous Big 12 football weekends?

Harpos General Manager Jared Ater said he almost broke a beer-selling record on the Saturday of the Georgia-Missouri game.

"It was a lot," he said. "Sales wise, it was our second busiest week we've had here with homecoming last year being the best sales week we've ever had."

But not ever business had near-record breaking sales like Harpos. Some stores don't cater to non-Missouri fans.

Steve Dillard sells Mizzou apparel at the Tiger Spirit store on 9th Street. Despite the store's name, Dillard said a few Georgia fans bought souvenirs.

"Certainly when you bring a Georgia to the table or an Alabama, that's going to make a difference," Dillard said.

A slight difference he said because his business depends on the size of the Mizzou crowd and not the opponents. But up the block at Harpos, it's just the opposite.

"The biggest factor for determining our crowds is generally who our opponent is," said Ater.

Ater expects the Alabama game on October 13 to be his next highest-grossing weekend.

Bengals Bar co-owner Julie Rader said they stayed busy with a crowd size comparable to a Nebraska game.

Rader and Ater said business is best for early afternoon kickoffs. But Dillard at Tiger Spirit said he stays busiest for night games.