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Officials Hope to Save the Capital City Classic

By Daniel Cherry | Published 16 Jul 2012 06:13pm | comments
Hinds County officials hope to coax the Capital City Classic back to Jackson. MPB's Daniel Cherry has more...
 
For the first time in 20 years, the annual football contest between rivals, Alcorn State University and Jackson State University, won't be played in Jackson. Yesterday, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution supporting efforts to bring the game, known as the Capital City Classic, back to Veterans Memorial Stadium. Kenneth Stokes, the Board's Vice President highlights the benefits of the revenue the game brings to the area.
 
"They're able to help with police officers and public works projects and other things. The county as a whole, it's got to be important for you because you're the largest county, population wise, in the state, and when people come to your county it's a benefit to your county."
 
Estimates say the game draws in about 30 thousand people and more than three million dollars to the Capital City each year. Marika Cackett with the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau says the city offered up about 160 thousand dollars to keep the game, but it wasn't enough. 
 
"It is a great boost for the city, so it is fair to jockey it back and forth and let Alcorn State have it there this year. I'm sure the game will be very successful, but the city can't just write checks for events like this. That's not how it works."
 
Alcorn officials recently decided to play the game at their home in Lorman. Jay Hopson, Alcorn State's Head Football Coach, says the Classic just gives Jackson State home field advantage every year.
 
"It doesn't make sense to play people away and away, where you never get a home game. It's not like we're doing something revolutionary. We're just playing a home and home schedule, which is exactly what everyone else in America does."
 
County officials say, there's currently no plan in place to bring the Classic back every year, but they hope to begin working on a strategy soon.

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