NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's Tennessee State University's homecoming weekend and that means football, food and fun for thousands of students and alumni. It also means big bucks for the local economy.
Hundreds of students, alumni and friends packed Gentry Center on TSU's campus for homecoming tradition of the noon pep rally.
Students from the past several decades are celebrating the school, sorority and fraternity anniversaries, along with the joy of seeing former classmates.
"The TSU tradition is really rich," said College Crib employee Al Verser. "The alumni come back in droves every year."
For each person attending the weekend events of homecoming, the average person is expected to spend at least $250.
"This weekend I will probably spend $600," said TSU alumnus Kevin William, now living in Indianapolis, Indiana.
While there is no official recording of how much of an impact TSU homecoming is for Music City, it does bring a boost, according to president and CEO of Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau Butch Spyridon.
He added it's the locally owned businesses that folks love.
"Visitors want to gravitate to locally owned, independent, what we say with our brand, 'real and authentic experience',"said Spyridon.
College Crib, a locally owned greek paraphernalia store, experiences a huge boost during homecoming.
"Homecoming for College Crib is much like Black Friday for other retail businesses," said Verser. "It's one of our biggest events of the year."
Verser said they can see anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 more business during homecoming, compared to a typical weekend.
With hotels booked for lodges and ball rooms booked for parties, Nashville is seeing a benefit from TSU homecoming.
"Having fun and enjoying yourself. Seeing friends you haven't seen in 10 years. Giving back to the community, especially with the recent flood. This will be a great impact on the city itself," Quanetta Davis, TSU alumna said.
There will be a TSU homecoming parade at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The parade will travel down 21st Avenue to Jefferson Street then on to 33rd Avenue and John Merritt Boulevard.
After the parade there will be a big tailgating event at LP Field. The TSU tigers will take on Eastern Illinois University at 5 p.m. Events will last until Sunday.
Notable graduates will be in town including the President of General Motors Canada, Kevin Williams.