JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- The countdown is on for the 2013 Taxslayer Gator Bowl, but the usual excitement downtown is pretty hard to find.
Our area counts on the burst we normally get from packed hotels, restaurants and stadium sales. This year's less-than-stellar matchup between Mississippi State and Northwestern isn't attracting a whole of business. We found tickets for sale at just 99 cents.
On Friday night, days before the Gator Bowl, The Landing didn't seem all that busy. Restaurant owners like Paul Glaser at Fionn MacCool's are optimistic that will change. "Calls like crazy for Monday asking 'are you taking reservations'," said Glaser.
Glaser is hoping for even better sales than last year.
Action News did some digging and found in 2010, the city took in roughly $30 million during the Gator Bowl weekend. This year with two teams not having much of a Florida connection, Rick Catlett, the director of the Gator Bowl, says he's hoping the city still profits.
"We expect $12 million into the economy. Some economists think two or even three times that, so everywhere from $30 to $40 million," said Catlett.
Ticket sales are slow and some are even selling for less than a dollar. Despite that, one business owner is banking on this game being good for Jax. "It was great weekend for us last year, but different teams this year," said Glaser.
Action News did some checking around at area hotels. The two big ones downtown here are booked up, but there are still plenty of rooms near JTB and 95. Some are only 50 percent filled.