Reflecting on College GameDay in Brookings

Local News

It’s back to business as usual in Brookings after an exciting weekend.

ESPN’s College GameDay set up shop on SDSU’s campus ahead of the Dakota Marker game against NDSU.

Good Vinyl Graphics Company owner Brian Ahlers says he didn’t have any expectations for what the past week would mean for his shop because he doesn’t follow college football very much.

But he ended doing three months’ worth of work in one week.

Ahlers and his printer finally has a chance to cool down, after working overtime fulfilling requests for signs and decals.

“I think I was definitely close to touching the 100 hour work week thing,” Good Vinyl Graphics Company owner Brian Ahlers said.

But he’s not the only one who scored last week.

The executive director of the Brookings Convention and Visitors Bureau says the economic impact from the event was originally estimated to be about $1.5 million, but that number could be higher.

“That’s based on the hotels being sold out, the game being sold out. That didn’t take into account the number of people that were staying with friends or just coming up to come to the GameDay, have a snack, and then head home,” Brookings Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Laura Schoen Carbonneau said.

What’s more difficult to nail down is just how much exposure the university and community gained through GameDay.

“The program itself is broadcast to about two million people every Saturday, but what you get on social media, what you get on promos and lead-ins to the show, those are things that it’s really hard to quantify, but it’s very fair to say we were on a national stage and I think as a university, as a community and athletics we delivered on that,” SDSU Spokesperson Mike Lockrem said.

And so while everyone can now catch their breath, including Ahlers, the impact from GameDay is far from over.

“It’s big enough that it pushed me over the edge and I’m probably actually going to take a step forward and make my first hire here pretty soon. It’s the next biggest thing after starting the company in the first place,” Ahlers said.

Schoen Carbonneau says the next big thing the city has to look forward to is hosting the high school football championships next month.

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