NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Titans’ victory over the Texans on Sunday was not only a win for the coach, players and fans — but for all of Music City.
In less than two weeks, the Titans will open the playoffs at Nissan Stadium as the number one seed in the AFC for the first time since 2008. It’s a major win for our local economy.
“I immediately go back to the ’99 season in our lone super bowl run. It was magic,” said Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation.
Some know him as the man that helped recruit the Titans to Nashville, others know him for leading the recruitment and execution of the 2019 NFL Draft.
“The turnaround this season, the injuries, the feel-good stories are going to be endless,” he said, adding the magic is back.
The Titans are now just two home wins away from the Superbowl. But to get to the second, we have to get through the first.
“If we don’t have 15,000-20,000 out-of-town visitors between Titans’ fans, media, and opposing team, I’ll be surprised,” Spyridon said.
When it comes to how much money the city would bring in, Spyridon said it depends heavily on our opponent, how they travel and how accessible tickets are.
The infusion of publicity, hotel sales and spending is invaluable, especially as COVID runs rampant.
“We’re experiencing an incredible amount of cancelations, so this is like a booster shot for the hospitality industry it could not come at a better time we could not need it anymore,” Spyridon said, adding convention bookings were disappearing rapidly due to omicron.
February bookings are still holding, but this upcoming playoff game and possibly a second, which would be the AFC Championship Game, would surely help.
“The media that comes with AFC Championship Game is draft-like. That standpoint of international coverage, exposure and because it’s just one game there’s a lot of sidebar stories on the city and Titans’ journey moving from Houston to here,” Spyridon said. “When you see a city come together — young, old, female, male, black, white — there are few things that do this. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, a game like this, a season like this, does it. We deserve it and need it.”
If the Titans win their first playoff game, Nashville will host an AFC Championship for the first time ever, which would easily be the biggest game Nissan Stadium has ever hosted.