High School Playoffs: Winning Situation For City Of Tyler - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/7/05-Tyler

High School Playoffs: Winning Situation For City Of Tyler

Five years ago, this is what high school football looked like at Rose Stadium. But more than a half million dollars later this muddy mess is now turf. And 1.6 million in renovations makes the stadium one of the most attractive spots for high school football action. "It's a big deal," says TISD Athletic Director Danny Long. He's talking about this weekend's 2A and 4A state championship games in Tyler. The school district makes 15% off gate tickets sold, plus $2,000. "We get the turf paid off who knows maybe we can get new scoreboards and stuff like that," says Long. But if it was up to Highland Park, the 4A school taking on Marshall for the state championship Saturday, the stadium needs more seats. 11,000 Highland Park fans went to last week's regional final. This weekend, each team only gets 5,500 pre-sale tickets. And TISD will utilize the grassy areas around the stadium to accommodate more fans. "[Highland Park] thinks it's our idea to have it here and we just provide the venue that's all," says Long. "There may be some people that get turned away and won't get to watch the game but that stadium is what it is." Whether all the fans get in the games, one thing is for sure they'll be spending their money here. "They'll be going to restaurants, they'll be buying gas, they might buy some souvenirs, they might stay overnight in hotels, that's a very good impact for Tyler," says President of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Tom Mullins. Last year's playoffs at Rose Stadium brought in an estimated 1.7 dollars to the local economy, making high school playoffs a winning combination for the host city.

Tom Mullins says most of the 45,000 fans who came to Tyler last year were day visitors. Only 3,100 fans stayed overnight in Tyler.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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