UC Santa Barbara is hosting the NCAA Men’s College Cup this weekend, and it could give local businesses a boost.
“I’m sure [the businesses] appreciate it that we find a way to generate a fairly significant economic impact on the local community,” UCSB athletic director John McCutcheon said.
As hundreds of soccer fans arrive from across the country to watch the men’s college soccer Final Four, local businesses near campus hope to see a jump in traffic this weekend.
“Visitor spending in Goleta is a big part of our local economy,” Goleta Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kristen Miller said. “So it’s terrific when we have events like this. Especially in the offseason.”
UCSB last hosted the event in 2010. This year could be just as successful economically, or more.
“The last time this happened we got a bump in visitors and we’re expecting that again,” Miller said. “We’re so excited when UCSB gets to do wonderful things like this that have a local impact on us as well.”
Hotels near the stadium and airport are seeing some of that local impact.
Mike Tesla, his wife and their friends have been College Cup regulars for more than 20 years. They’re excited to be visiting again after a fun trip to the event in Santa Barbara eight years ago.
“Oh, it was great; the weather was fantastic,” Tesla said. “It was the first and only Final Four that we’ve gone to where we were in t-shirts and shorts. Of course, today is in the 60’s, rainy, but we’re still in Santa Barbara.”