IMMOKALEE, Fla - A major score for Southwest Florida as summer sporting events are filling up hotels and restaurants during an otherwise slow time of year.
Friday night, Immokalee's football stadium will be standing room only. The team will face off against a nationally ranked team from Maryland and local economists estimate this one game could bring in a $100,000 to Southwest Florida.
So far, it has been a record breaking summer for Lee County's Sports Development Office. From roller hockey to BMX to youth soccer, the months of April, May and June brought more than $13 million in direct economic impact and Friday night's football game between Immokalee and Our Lady of Good Council is expected to only add to those numbers.
"It's great because they are staying in Lee County, so there is some economic advantage there. They brought a ton of kids and A lot of people are down to watch them," says Immokalee football coach Rich Dombroski.
Good Council is staying at the Holiday Inn on Fort Myers Beach bringing 75 players and coaches, plus parents to watch. "About 125 parents come with us, so that brings money to the airlines, the hotels," says Good Council Athletic Director Pat Bates.
Over the summer, more than 30 amateur sports events came to Lee County filling up more than 35,000 hotel rooms. This Labor Day weekend a single football game will take up another 50 rooms while also bringing an extra boost to Immokalee in terms of ticket sales and concessions.
"The community is very excited. This is something they've never seen here before. Also it gives us an opportunity to display our goodwill as a community," says Tony Allen, Immokalee's Athletic Director.
The game is Friday evening at 7:30 at Immokalee High School.