18 high school football teams will arrive in Cookeville next Thursday for the 2019 BlueCross Bowl.
Zach Ledbetter is the Vice President of Visitor Development at the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau. He said residents and businesses should be ready to welcome players, coaches, fans, and families.
“I say that I am more than happy for people to be sick of hearing, ‘Welcome to Cookeville. Congratulations on a successful season,’ by the time they leave here following their championship game,” Ledbetter said. “Because being hospitable is what it’s all about. We want to set a good impression, and some of these teams have not been here in the past. We want them to be able to come back for not only just the championship, but all throughout the year.”
An estimated 30,000 guests will visit Cookeville over the three-day event. Ledbetter said the 9 games have a tremendous impact on the local economy.
“It brings a lot of positive impact with people buying fuel, doing some shopping in their free time, and staying in hotels” Ledbetter said. “Of course, everybody has to eat, so keep that in mind as well. For us as local residents, you may see some extended wait times at our favorite restaurants.”
The event, led by the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau for the eleventh year, requires nearly 750 volunteers to effectively facilitate. Ledbetter said residents still have time to sign up for a volunteer position.
“The week or two leading up to the championships, it really takes on a big push with a lot of additional sign ups at that point,” Ledbetter said. “We always welcome more volunteers. Of course, that’s a great welcome for our visitors.”
You can sign up to volunteer by visiting ROADTOCOOKEVILLE.COM. Tickets for the BlueCross Bowl went on sale earlier this week.