STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) — The biggest day in sports is almost here, but players and fans aren’t the only ones who mark this day on their calendar.
Local shop and restaurant owners describe it as one of the greatest weekends of the year because of the amount of people that come to town. However, with the final Bedlam match-up approaching, what could the future hold for businesses?
More than 100 years of history is wrapping up, at least for now, as OU and OSU are set to face off on Saturday.
“It’s something that we’re really going to miss going forward,” Mayor of Stillwater Will Joyce said.
Mayor Joyce expressed what Bedlam has meant to so many people over the years, and what it has meant to the City of Stillwater as well.
“I think we’ll see a bigger crowd than we normally would,” Joyce said.
Bedlam alone brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city, and along with Mayor Joyce, business owners are expecting an increase in sales as well.
“It’s usually wall-to-wall people in here. So, I mean, I don’t know, 200 to 300 or 400 people a day on a Saturday,” Amy Green, co-owner of 405 Mercantile, said.
This has caused business owners to order way more product than they normally would.
“We ordered 1800 pounds of potatoes just for Saturday,” Stan Clark, CEO of Eskimo Joe’s, said. “We’ll probably do 1400 pounds on Friday and maybe 1200 pounds or so on Sunday.”
“I know we just ordered a lot of product and we’re anticipating to see a crazy weekend,” Korey Johnson, assistant manager at Boomerang Diner, said.
While this weekend might be one for the record books, there might not ever be another weekend like it with Bedlam not coming back to Stillwater anytime soon.
“Every time we have Bedlam, it’s bigger than anything we’ve ever seen before,” Clark said. “So, of course we’ll miss that.”
“I think from game day economics, we might not see a huge dip, but without the Bedlam rivalry not continuing, I think you see a just a general overall economic decline in things like t-shirt sales and just all the stuff that goes into bedlam,” Joyce said.
Mayor Joyce, among others, said that although it’s sad that Bedlam is coming to an end for now, they are excited for the new teams joining the Big 12, and are looking forward to different fanbases making trips to Stillwater for the first time.