The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) in partnership with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) released the results of the economic impact study for the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Classic Games that occurred over Labor Day weekend. The two games featuring App State vs ECU (9/2) and Georgia vs Clemson (9/4) had an estimated economic impact of 48.8 million dollars for the Charlotte region. The two games also resulted in $26.2 million in direct visitor spending and $1.47 million in Mecklenburg County sales and hospitality taxes.

“These numbers are just one indicator that demonstrate the amazing impact sports can have on our great city,” said CSF Board of Directors co-chairs Andrea Smith and Johnny Harris. “Events like the Duke’s Mayo Classic games bring visitors from around the country which are vital for the success of our hospitality industry.”

“Events like these don’t occur without great teamwork,” added CSF executive director, Danny Morrison. “Our Board of Directors, staff, City, County, Bank of America Stadium, Carolina Panthers and other partners made it happen, and we should all be proud of how this great city shined on a national stage.”

With these games being some of the first major events to occur in Charlotte after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020 their impact is especially felt by the hospitality industry that was hit so hard.

“Strategic events like the Duke’s Mayo Classic elevate the Charlotte region in so many ways,” said Tom Murray, Chief Executive Officer of CRVA. “They draw thousands of visitors, boost activity at hotels, restaurants and other local businesses, and shine a spotlight on the Queen City so that more people see what an exciting place Charlotte is to experience. As we’ve been implementing pandemic recovery marketing efforts, we’re grateful for the partnerships that made the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Classic so memorable and impactful to the hospitality industry.”

Additional Statistics

  • Hotels:
    • The 28,623 hotel rooms booked on 9/4 set a single day record for Mecklenburg County that was 2,471 rooms higher than the previous record. Friday (9/3) night saw 25,487 rooms booked which was good enough for the 4th best single night in the county. Overall, the two games generated 64,994 overnight stays.
    • The 3-day hotel revenue total across Mecklenburg County topped $10.7 million, collectively the 4th largest event Charlotte has hosted in regards to hotel rooms booked.
    • Uptown hotel rates peaked on Sat. night at $315.51, the highest rates of any event other than the 2019 NBA All-star Game.
  • Attendance
    • Combined, 110,939 people attended a Duke’s Mayo Classic Game. This includes the announced attendance of 74,187 people at the Georgia vs Clemson game, which is third most attended game in Bank of America Stadium history.
  • Visitors:
    • Over 970,000 people experienced Uptown or SouthEnd over the course of the Labor Day weekend which exceeded any previous weekend since the pandemic’s onset in March of 2020.
    • Over 6,000 fans attended ESPN’s College GameDay in Romare Bearden Park
  • Television
    • 11,291,763 combined average viewership for both football games and ESPN’s College GameDay. With an average viewership of 8.86 million for Georgia vs Clemson was the second most viewed college football Saturday kickoff game in the last 20 years.