Yes, the national champions Alabama Crimson Tide Football team is beginning its descent on Durham. And it's a beautiful sight.
Not only will the home town Duke Blue Devils (who beat the 'Tide in 1944) bring their A game to the field at Wallace Wade Saturday afternoon, but the Crimson Tide fans will bring with them significant visitor economic impact.
Duke added about 4,000 extra seats to the for spectators for this upcoming game which speaks to the fact that 'Bama fans travel. The economic impact from this game in Durham this weekend is $5.9 million -extremely high for a weekend event. Some of the reasons include much higher percentage of overnight visitors than most events, longer stays - particularly from the Alabama folks, and of course, ticket prices. No tickets are available through Duke Athletic's ticket office for this game, according to the Duke Box Office.
Hotel rooms around Duke and 15/501 are sold out. There are still rooms available in S.E. Durham in and around Research Triangle Park which provide direct and easy access to Wallace Wade Stadium.
Parking around town might be a touch challenging so use this map to see where spectators can park for the game or where to avoid if the game is not on Saturday's agenda. Local businesses will likely see a major influx of visitors in the early evening when the game lets out so residents should make plans accordingly for any dining or entertainment plans they might have.
Sure, the Devils have an uphill battle on the field, but let us not forget that sports are a game and in any game there are chances...remember ASU in Michigan a few years back?... so there's a chance that the Blue Devils may make the Crimson Tide a little red in the face. One thing not left to chance is that Durham will be a touch more green as the Tide subsides, and for that thanks go to Alabama.