The City of Troy is gearing up for an action-packed weekend - as the Troy Trojans take on Navy at Saturday's football match-up, after hosting Mississippi State for the first time on the basketball court Friday night.
This weekend brings a lot of "firsts" for Troy. It's the first time it hosts an SEC school for basketball, the first time the Trojans play in their new arena, and the first time the university will host an armed services academy in its history.
"This is huge. I believe for the university and for the city of troy, that the navy game will be our biggest football weekend," said Leighann Windham, Community Development Director.
That means potentially huge benefits for Troy's economy. "When they come in, we say that they spend x amount of money and then that creates a base for our taxes, that helps the people, so the economic development is really great during this time," said Kathleen Sauer, Chamber of Commerce President.
It's already started with hotels booking out across Pike County. Hotel sales manager Dawn Railey says she's been taking reservations for this weekend for months...from Troy alums and Navy fans. "We've got people coming in busloads actually, from Pensacola, from the Fort Walton Beach area, because they'll get to see their team play," said Railey.
General admission tickets are already sold out for Saturday's game against Navy. Some reserved tickets are still up for grabs.
The Chamber of Commerce and Troy Tourism are sponsoring a downtown tailgate for Satuday's matchup. This week, there will be live music on the square before and after the game. The Coleman-Woodson Experience will take the stage from 10 A.M. to 1 P.M. Cocount Cowboys will begin playing immediately after the game. Sauer says downtown vendors will be offering game-day special for fans wearing their colors.
City leaders say this is the biggest weekend of the year for Troy. And between university alums and out-of-town visitors, thousands more people will be here by Friday.