College football fans head Uptown for Charlotte’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl

On Friday, thousands of college football fans packed into Bank of America Stadium for the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Many headed to the stadium and others watched at bars around town.

The teams facing off were North Carolina State University and the University of Maryland. Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the field Thursday, which was already painted and ready to go.

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The game kicked off at noon.

All morning, Channel 9′s Hunter Sáenz saw tons of fans bopping around town, going to different bars and restaurants and tailgating.

Sáenz caught up with some tailgaters in Uptown before they walked over to the game. They had all kinds of food and drinks, from chili to coffee and beer -- even some grilled steak and eggs. Many of them said they were happy to be with friends and family cheering on their teams.

Of course, there were a lot of N.C. State fans -- some of whom had been waiting a long time for the matchup. For some, it wasn’t their first Duke’s Mayo Bowl, so they knew what to expect.

“Oh it’s energetic,” said N.C. State alum Jared McCormick. “It’s different than a pro games are just different. It’s got a lot more energy to it, a lot more excitement.”

N.C. State closed their season with a win over North Carolina and finished 8-4 overall. Maryland will go into the matchup with a 7-5 record.

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The two teams have not faced off since 2013, when Maryland won 41-21. The Duke’s Mayo Bowl was only the third time N.C. State has played a bowl game in their home state.

In last year’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl, South Carolina took down North Carolina, 38-21.

For businesses, the bowl game has proven lucrative. Bars were packed before kickoff, bringing revenue bars and restaurants depend on.

In September, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority said the Duke’s Mayo Classic brought in roughly $7.9 million in direct visitor spending. And after the last few hard years with COVID-19, inflation and struggles with the workforce, that spending will certainly help our businesses.

It’s a game bringing in memories and money, all made in charlotte.

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