Florida football and the influence it has on local businesses

Walking in the door, the first thing that catches the eye is the immense amount of Florida Gators gear on the walls.

Adam Brewer knows his hometown well, having lived in Gainesville all of his life. Brewer built Adam’s Rib Co. from the ground up, and he knows the effect of football season tourism on his business. 

All for the Gators

Hundreds of thousands of fans flock to Gainesville on game day. According to the official Florida Gators website, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium holds 88,548 people. Those who don’t buy tickets to the games travel to Gainesville exclusively to tailgate and be in the city.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, the Florida Gators football team hosts Auburn in their 2019 homecoming game. This game is one of the six Florida Gators games this season that are in Gainesville.

Trickle-down effect

The city of Gainesville greatly benefits from games like this. When asked about tourism during football season, Visit Gainesville’s tourism program coordinator Jodi Biggar provided some insight.

According to documents provided by Biggar, in 2017, tourists coming to football games accounted for $10 million in spending in the Gainesville area. Hotel occupancy rates tended to increase by about 20% during the months of football season as well.

According to Brewer, Adam’s Rib Co. sees a boost in business from game weekends.

“Out of a 52-week year, we’re blessed to have those six weekends where we really have an influx of traffic,” said Brewer. “We’re blessed, we’re thankful, and we’re appreciative of the alumni and what all of the football season and the Gator sports bring.”

For Brewer, his company recognizes the diversity of what Gainesville has to offer. To him, Gainesville is so much more than just a college town with a football team.

“Certain groups of people, depending upon what their association to the area is, find different outlets within the area,” said Brewer. “When they burn their calories from those outlets, they’re looking for a good place to eat. This is a great area for calorie burning.”

Business success for Adam’s Rib Co. comes from more than just football season tourism. Among the multitude of community awards Adam’s Rib Co. has received, Brewer said his favorite outreach achievement has been his involvement with the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County. According to him, he sits on the board of directors for the club as the vice president. 

Adam’s Rib Co. also reaches out to the community when hurricanes come through the area. According to Brewer, he works closely with utility companies to get his restaurants back up and running so he can feed people who don’t have food.

This community outreach seems to have paid off. According to Brewer, his company sees consistent business year-round.

“I’m busy all year because we have a consistent influx of people looking for a good meal,” said Brewer. “That could be people locally or from the area, from the county, even from a neighboring county like Ocala-Marion county area. People drive up the interstate to come try Adam’s Rib Company.”

Adam’s Rib Co. looks forward to cooking barbecue for the community and cheering on the Gators this season. 


  1. I really enjoyed your article!


    Jim Bowen
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