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Missouri vs Kansas rivalry game benefits local businesses

After more than a decade, the border war returned to Columbia. With crowds of fans following their teams, the sports rivalry between Missouri and Kansas is benefiting local businesses.

Jason Paetzold, the owner of Bud’s Classic Barbecue, said the restaurant’s numbers have been similar to what they would see on a football game day.

“Anytime there's a great matchup,” Paetzold said. “Our sales just go through the roof. So with our location being right across from the university, we ride that same pony, we're in it to win it with them.”

Crowds follow a pretty predictable pattern, he said. The number of customers quickly grows at noon for lunch, then dissipates about an hour before game time. The crowds are back as soon as the basketball game finishes though.

“The celebration will be at Bud’s,” Paetzold said. “This town takes on a whole new life when there's a big game in town, whether it's football or basketball.”

Throughout the day, fans wearing their team’s colors made their way down the stretch of sidewalk in front of the restaurant. Among them was a group of three girls wearing gold and black.

University of Missouri freshmen Julia Andreyuk, Aubrey Adams and Katie Godefroid said it was their first rivalry game. With limited tickets to the basketball game, being able to come downtown offered a different type of experience too they said.

“Even if we don't win, even if we completely kill it, then it doesn't matter because we're all with our fellow students,” Adams said. “It's really nice to be able to come downtown and also be with other fans and other people in your community to share this moment with.”  

When it comes to these sorts of games, fans usually arrive in Columbia Friday night and stay over the weekend, the director of the City of Columbia's Convention and Visitors Bureau said.

At last check Friday afternoon, she said two hotels were almost completely sold out for Saturday night.

“You're bringing people into the community they come here,” Amy Schneider said. “They spend their money on gas, on retail, on restaurants, on hotels, that's new money into the community that allows us to enjoy the things that we love so much about Columbia.”

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Abby Landwehr


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