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Garth Brooks, future events at Notre Dame Stadium could impact regional economy

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – History is happening at Notre Dame Stadium this weekend.  

Country artist Garth Brooks will perform the first stand-alone concert in the stadium’s 88-year history on Saturday.

The South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce says this concert and future events at the stadium could bring some money to Michiana.

The tens of thousands of people coming to South Bend will need a place to eat and sleep, so they’ll head to restaurants, hotels, and bars, and pour their money into the local economy.

Jeff Rea, president of the SBRCC, says this event will most definitely have an economic impact. However, he doesn’t think it will match the estimated $26 million brought in during home football games.

Rea says that’s because most people will only stay one night rather than two or three nights, but money is money.

“Whether you’re a fan going to the show, I’ll be, I’m a fan going to the show, and we’ll probably go out to eat and do those kind of things,” said Rea. “But, I know others will… either benefit from working on a Saturday where maybe they might not have gotten some hours normally or taking advantage of renting out their homes or some of those things.”  

Rea adds the university wants to host other concerts and events in the future. He says that will be a nice boost during times when the stadium is normally dormant.

“I’d like to think the future is pretty bright,” said Rea. “That we will see this really, a regular occurrence over time, where artists are going to want to play this venue and the university is going to want to bring some top entertainment to the venue, and that combination is going to be able to prosper into the community.”

It’s not just businesses benefiting. People who live nearby are too.

One way people in Michiana are cashing in is by letting concert-goers park in people’s yards.

Bill Sykes is one of those people. Sykes owns a rental house near Notre Dame Stadium. It’s a 10 minute walk to the stadium. He says it’s easier and cheaper to park away from the stadium.

Sykes uses the front yard for game day parking, so when Brooks announced the concert, Sykes said it was a no brainer to open up parking this weekend. So far, he’s reserved spots for concert goers from Minnesota and Indianapolis.

Sykes isn’t sure if this weekend and future events will be as profitable as a home game day, but says it’s nice to have another weekend to make some extra cash.

“I mean, concerts are a new thing, so we have no idea what the turnout is going to be like,” said Sykes. “But, from what I understand, the turnout is going to be huge. So, me and my neighbors, we all kind of thought this might be a good time to capitalize.”

Sykes says money he makes this weekend will help people struggling to take care of their animals. Anyone interested in contacting Sykes can reach him (574)329-4900.

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