Ed Orgeron wants football back this fall. That should come as no surprise to those who follow the fiery LSU head coach, coming off of his first national title.
That is looking more likely by the day. Schools and conferences are starting to unveil plans to play games as scheduled. They may come with reduced fan attendance, but it looks like they’ll happen in some capacity this fall.
Coach O, a Louisiana native, knows just how important that is for local college communities. The impact of a college football Saturday goes far beyond the play on the field. Those game days help sustain the entire local economy.
“Baton Rouge on a Saturday is hopping,” Ed Orgeron said during a FOX News appearance on Tuesday. “There’s tailgating, the restaurants are full, the hotels are full, the economy is booming. So it would be a big blow to not only our universities but the economy. I do believe we need football.”
"We need football"
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) May 27, 2020
According to a study released by the school last summer, LSU athletics led to $397.5 million in new sales around Baton Rouge back in 2012. One assumes that that number has gone up, if anything, over the last eight years.
The impact also includes 3,948 jobs for those in the Baton Rouge area, connected to Tigers athletics.
Finding a balance that allows towns like Baton Rouge to reap the economic benefits of college football and other sports, without putting players, coaches, fans, and others at risk by attending large gatherings is the major issue facing LSU and every big college program as we enter the summer. Hopefully we get some workable answers soon.