ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The World Cup watch party at AT&T Stadium had ideal conditions to create Christmas in July for businesses in the shadow of the stadium. Retail stores and restaurants in Arlington are racking in major profits.
The parking and admission to watch the game at AT&T Stadium were free. That freed up soccer fans’ cash, so they’d have money to spend in businesses around the stadium.
James Buckingham began his spending by buying a red, white and blue-colored cowboy hat. “I bought this and the medallion just for the game today,” he said. As for food and drink Buckingham said, “We bought beer from the Wal-Mart just there and we got Chick-fil-A right down the road, on Collins.”
The USA, Belgium World Cup game isn’t like coming out to see the Dallas Cowboys play, where you expect to leave a lot of money in Jerry Jones’ pocket.
As far as opening his wallet Buckingham said he spent, “… not a dollar, at least in the game. All of it is spent out here [at restaurants and stores].
The savings at the stadium equaled an unexpected windfall for local businesses. From drug stores selling ice for coolers, to mom and pop eateries selling affordable lunches, soccer scored extra business on a normally lackluster weekday.
Eddie Deen Crossroads Smokehouse manager Danita Lobrandon said, “Tuesday is our slow day. But today I’ve noticed that it picked up — business. And I’ve noticed a lot of new faces.”
The restaurant got a cut of the soccer spoils. They might make $700 on an average Tuesday. But today, they passed $700 by lunchtime and were preparing to stay open late for the fans.
The Molinare family is from El Paso. They were visiting central Texas when they heard about the watch party and came to Arlington to see the game.
While in the city they said they made a point to spend their money locally. “You have these chains that are from all over the world,” said father Fernie Monilare. “We’d rather come and eat local with people that are here and local. It’s a part of our state.”
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