The big bowl game of the season for Shreveport attracted people from near and far to get out in the community yesterday. Georgia Tech and Air Force fans from all over came out to support the Independence Bowl Monday afternoon.
Renee and Pat Cauley drove from Lewisville, TX to support Georgia Tech and their daughter who marches in the band. Lt. Colonel Mike Foutch had friends from Barksdale Air Force Base and out of town who showed up to tailgate and support their team, the Air Force Falcons. Stacy Brown, President of Shreveport-Bossier Tourist and Convention Bureau, told us that they've seen good hotel booking results, and some hotels were sold out.
Some fans planned to make it a day trip while others made it a long weekend celebration. "We're just here for the day," the Cauleys told us. "We're here for the game and then a little tailgating after. Then, we're headed back to Dallas (Monday)." Lt. Colonel Foutch told us that he had friends who had come into town during the weekend and planned to stay and celebrate the Independence Bowl until Tuesday.
Whether fans came from near or far, they all came for the same reasons: to enjoy good friends, food and football. The Cauleys brought along family to tailgate with them before the game and told us that they were making new friends, and "just feeding people all around us." Lt. Colonel Foutch had a shrimp boil cooking at his tailgate along with an array of chips, dips and cookies. "We're just having a blast out here today."
Even local college football fans got in on the fun of Monday's bowl game. Donna and Kathy told us that they are Independence Bowl regulars. "We're here to support the Independence Bowl. We've been coming every year since the early 70's." Scott, also an Independence Bowl regular, wanted to support the Independence Bowl and the city of Shreveport. "We have done this for the past ten years and we love it. We want to keep (the Independence Bowl) here, so we're out here in support."
They know the bowl is one of the biggest crowd-drawers to the area each year, so they want to keep seeing the fans around town enjoying everything that Shreveport and Bossier City have to offer to help the local economy. Brown says that they expect this weekend to be a good strong weekend. "We have had many Independence Bowls in the past, and we expect to have many in the future." The area expects an economic impact between $13 million and $14 million from this year's Independence Bowl.