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PSU events an economic boost for Pittsburg - KOAM TV 7

PSU events an economic boost for Pittsburg

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Cutline: President Bill Clinton speaks at PSU's Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on Nov. 23 as part of the H. Lee Scott Speaker Series. (Photo Courtesy: PSU) Cutline: President Bill Clinton speaks at PSU's Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on Nov. 23 as part of the H. Lee Scott Speaker Series. (Photo Courtesy: PSU)
PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

It’s been quite a week at Pittsburg State University and the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts.

On Sunday, the university welcomed more than 2,200 people to the Bicknell Center for the two productions of the Broadway musical “Mamma Mia.” On Monday, more than 1,100 people were on campus to see former President Bill Clinton give the inaugural speech of the H. Lee Scott Speaker Series. And preparations are under way for Saturday’s Kansas State High School Activities Association 5A State Football Championship game at Carnie Smith Stadium.

“It’s a week our community won’t soon forget,” said Kathleen Flannery, vice president for advancement. “Many of our patrons are visiting our campus and community for the first time. They’re creating memories that will last a lifetime, which is one of the things we set out to do with the Bicknell Center.”

This week’s events are also providing memories for local retailers who are seeing some of the benefits of the increase in visitors.

“I saw a lot of out-of-state license plates at both events,” said Devin Gorman, vice president of operations for the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce. “When you can bring in these types of crowds it helps your local retailers. The timing is especially nice because we’re kicking off one of the most important shopping seasons of the year.”

This weekend’s 5A State High School Football Championship game is expected to draw an even larger crowd which should help continue the economic momentum.

“Even with the weather forecast we’re expecting more than 4,000 fans this weekend,” said B.J. Harris, executive director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors. “This is Mill Valley’s first trip to the championship game and Bishop Carroll always travels well. Hosting a championship game allows us to showcase our community and boost our local economy.”

Gorman agrees with that assessment and believes this week’s activities are laying the foundation for the future.

“Anytime you can bring someone to your community and give them a one-of-a-kind experience it makes them more inclined to come back,” said Gorman. “It helps them realize that there are big things going on in Pittsburg right now and (they) don’t want to miss it.”

Saturday’s 5A State High School Football Championship will kick-off at 1 p.m. Tickets will be available at Carnie Smith Stadium. For additional details feel free to visit the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau at visitcrawfordcounty.com.

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