Vols Bring Business Back To Strip

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) -- You can bet businesses on the strip are just as excited for today's game as the tailgaters.

UT's first home game is great news for bookstores who've suffered through a long, quiet off-season.

"It's been pretty busy," said Chris Salita at Rocky Top Books. "It's been packed and hot."

When we were there, Vol fans stood shoulder to shoulder, decked out to support the Big Orange.

"I think everybody is real excited coming off a loss last week at Cal and just wanting to get the season started right with a good home game," Salita said.

Orange and white wherever you look.

If fans aren't already wearing it, they were buying it.

The hot sellers were shirts, jerseys, hats and whatever the fans need for the game.

"I had to bury a hat that's about 15 years old, it was time to replace it and get some stuff for them," said J.K. Simms, an avid Vol fan who was ready to deck his family out. "We got some t-shirts and some beads."

"You just show everybody you've got the spirit," said Suzanne Simms.

You can see the Volunteer spirit up and down the strip and in the midst of all the orange there is a lot of green.

"This is where we make all of our money," Salita said. "I think it'll be good, I mean, if we do well, obviously sales are going to be bigger."

"The businesses are so glad the students are back," Suzanne pointed out.

Back and busier than ever.

"Vol fans are great, Salita said, "they'll always come out and buy stuff."

Every other business on the strip was also jam-packed with customers.

Restaurant owners are hoping fans will stick around after the game to celebrate a win.

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