BCS Championship to bring millions to S. Fla.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Experts said the Orange Bowl and Monday night's BCS Championship football game are expected to generate $300 million in revenue for South Florida businesses.
Before the big game, the number one fans are already staking their claims on South Florida. "Our flight was full of fans," said Notre Dame fan Scott Mitchell.
It's not just the prospect of a championship luring people to the Sunshine State. It's also the weather. "It's 50 degrees warmer here," said Mitchell. "It's ten degrees in Chicago right now."
Sands, sunny skies and the wild South Florida night life will encourage tens of thousands of revved up football fans into spending millions of dollars in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. "By the time Notre Dame and Alabama leave town, there's going to be 22-25 million dollars in the cash registers of Broward County," said Nikki Grossman of the Fort Lauderdale Visitors Convention.
Even Fort Lauderdale's mayor has a house full of his own fans. "I've got all my daughter's friends coming down. They'll be in and around the house this weekend," said Jack Seiler. "And we've got my old roommates from Notre Dame down, so it's kind of a double whammy."
The two top teams in college football, Notre Dame and Alabama won't meet on the field to fight for the title until Monday night. "I think it's going to be a close game," said Notre Dame fan Justin Darwin.
So between now and then, the beaches and bars are just begging to show eager fans how South Florida hosts. "Everything that the facility has to offer for, like the cabana deck we are on now is sold out for the entire weekend," said Loews Hotel General Manager Alex Tonarelli.
Fort Lauderdale's mayor said businesses across South Florida will enjoy the crowds of people visiting. "The restaurants love it, the bars love it. All the nightlife in South Florida is just a buzz," said Seiler.
Officials said Ocean Drive on Miami Beach will be closed this weekend beginning Saturday at 7 a.m. thru Monday at 7 a.m.
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