JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – With Deion Sanders named the next head football coach for Jackson State, the decision could be a boost to the city’s economy.
“Typically, up to 10,000 and up to 25,000 people attending games. So what happens if the excitement of a new coach and a winning team, we can double, may even triple those numbers. The stadium seats 60,000 people, and I would love for 60,000 to come to Jackson and feel those seats, and eat at our restaurants, and stay in those hotels, and experience the amazing Jackson story,” said Rickey Thigpen, President & CEO of Visit Jackson.
Now with national attention on the university and the city, Visit Jackson leaders said having Coach Sanders here could put the city in the spotlight.
“With Deion here, now we have more attention on us, and he has kind of given us a megaphone to say, ‘Here we are. Don’t look past us. Don’t overlook us. This is what we are here for, and this is what we have,'” stated Kim Lewis with Visit Jackson.
Not only could tourism and business thrive, but other sports at JSU could attract top recruits.
JSU women’s basketball coach, Tomekia Reed, said, “We’ll be able to recruit top athletes. When you can bring in a player, professional player, a coach, a sports analyst, someone who worked with ESPN and Sportscenter; when you can bring in someone like that, who knows what the top level is about, players are going to want to feed into it. Not just football, women’s basketball. It’s going to help us tremendously across the board, because everyone wants to be a part of something great.”
The evidence was clear at the campus bookstore, where traffic increased since the announcement.
“This event is super exciting, and we’re excited to make all of our merchandise go to the university,” stated Dyonne Conner with the JSU Bookstore.
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