KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In just two days, Garth Brooks will be rocking Neyland Stadium with more than 75,000 fans. The concert will transform a quiet bye week into a profitable weekend for local businesses.
"This is uncharted territory," University Liquors owner Helen Morton said. "It would have been a slow weekend."
Morton is also the Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association treasurer. She said businesses on the strip are excited to host visitors on Friday as well as Saturday.
"It should be a profitable weekend for all the businesses in this area," Morton said. "A guaranteed ballgame crowd as far as numbers go."
Visit Knoxville said 60 area hotels have already sold out. As of 5 p.m. on Thursday, just seven nearby places were for rent on Airbnb.
The closest VRBO listing was 30 minutes away near Solway.
"This Garth stadium tour is phenomenal. It is affecting Knoxville at every level," Visit Knoxville president Kim Bumpas said. "We're talking millions and millions of dollars."
Bumpas said the impact of the Garth concert could extend far beyond this weekend.
"A lot of them might just be coming for this once in a lifetime stadium opportunity to see Garth Brooks," Bumpas said. "That's our opportunity to show them how awesome Knoxville is and to make sure they come back and visit us for years to come."
Bumpas said Visit Knoxville representatives will be visiting area hotels to hand out Garth Brooks materials to help welcome fans.
"It's a really unique opportunity that I hope we can repeat in years to come," Bumpas said. "It's just a really great way to be able to roll out the red carpet."