Band competition impacts economy

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Hundreds of folks across the Mid-South made their way to Jonesboro this weekend for the 2010 Arkansas Open, bringing tourism to the city. It's the third year for the marching band competition, with 24 different bands competing. Organizers say it's the largest turn out they've had for the event, which means more people spending money right here in Jonesboro.

"We're bringing in a lot of different people not only from Craighead County and Region 8, but from all over the Mid-South," says Timothy Oliver, Arkansas State University's Director of Bands.

The 2010 Arkansas Open took place all day Saturday at Arkansas State University, bringing in folks from Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and all across Arkansas to take the field for competition.

"For many of the Arkansas bands, this is the last marching band competition they will have for the year. We have almost 3,000 performers here today," says Oliver. 3,000 performers bringing friends and family right here to Jonesboro.

"Many of them, I know are spend money in the community, in terms of eating, or just being a part of Jonesboro for a day," says Oliver, which meaning good things for the economy.

"We're two nights in a motel here," says Ann Lay, who drove down from Kentucky. She says since she got into town Friday night, she's already made a dent in her pocketbook. "Got to feed the kids, got to shop, Christmas shop, we're going to leave quite a bit," says Lay.

And what's good for the economy is good for ASU. "We have a large number of students that come to the University because perhaps their first ASU was coming to this contest," says Oliver.

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