The City of Auburn is gearing up for what may be the most hyped Iron Bowl since 1989.
"You literally could walk on people's shoulders from one end of Donahue to the other," remembers Auburn Mayor Bill Ham. "That's how dense the people were. And if there are more here than there were then, which is anticipated, it will be a site to behold."
With that in mind, store owners in downtown Auburn are preparing for the crowds, opening early for Black Friday deals and closing late both Friday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 30.
Kasi Davis, Manager of Wrapsody, says everyone is going to be on hand. "We have everybody coming down. We have our owner working that day, so it's going to be a big day, and we're excited to see everyone come into town," she says.
Cliff Hare, owner of Auburn Art, says, "Depending on the outcome of the game, we have high hopes. I think we are going to win. So if that happens, we will be open all night long, just celebrating and hanging out with everyone."
Hare believes this weekend's crowd will surpass those of the Toomer's Corner last roll and of the Georgia game.
Weekends like these boost sales for Auburn Art, especially when the Tigers are doing well.
"You can pretty much calculate out sales by the score. It's pretty amazing, but it has been a great season, and we are looking forward to this weekend," says Hare.
Mayor Ham says there has not been an exact estimate on how much the economy is expected to boost this weekend, but between gas, souvenirs, and hotel sales, the spike will be a high one.
"There will be a lot of cars and a lot of extra people the next couple of days, and we will become one of the largest cities in Alabama for a few days," explains Ham.
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