Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Basketball economic bounce

In the middle of the worst economy since the Depression, retail stores look for help anywhere they can find it. In Amarillo and Canyon, at least in the form of restaurants, gas stations and one-stop shops, it's coming via high school basketball playoff games.

In three playoff dates in the last week, beginning with the first playoff games on Feb. 17, Amarillo and Canyon have been host to 25 games from teams in the Panhandle. The Amarillo Chamber of Commerce should take note.

That's not a mild impact. Unlike 5A and 4A schools, small area towns turn out en masse for basketball just like football. In other words, darn near the whole town will come out for any team sport. Games probably average around 1,000 fans per game, which is a big help too to organizations which are manning the concession stands.

Just last night, about all of Hansford County moved to Amarillo/Canyon as the Gruver girls played Wellington at Amarillo High, and then the Spearman boys played at Palo Duro at 6 p.m. and the Spearman girls were at West Texas A&M at 8 p.m.

They had to throw down a chunk of change.

Some more playoff games should be in store for the metro area Friday. With the second round of the boys playoffs, as many as six to eight games could return. Every little bit helps.

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