PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Playoff games at Gillette Stadium typically provide an economic influx to Providence, with the opposing team, fans, and the media filling up the city’s hotels, shops, and restaurants.
The Houston Texans are in town this weekend for their AFC Divisional matchup with the New England Patriots. But with a hockey tournament taking up about 4,000 rooms, the team won’t be staying in Providence – they’ll be in Waltham.
“We’re a victim of our own success,” said John Gibbons of the Rhode Island Sports Commission. “We didn’t have enough rooms and meeting space for them.”
The city can still expect a big boost in business, however, since the NFL Films team, broadcast crews, and out-of-town fans will be staying in Providence along with the hockey families.
Gibbons said he expects that will pump about $4.5 million into the economy.
“We’re going to see a big crowd here in the next 24 hours,” said John Gibbons of the Rhode Island Sports Commission. “And I think we’re going to put a serious beating on Houston.”
For fans, both local and out-of-town, highway signs from the state Department of Transportation make it clear: “Cheer ’em on, don’t tie one on.”
Rather than drive drunk, Gibbons had a better idea.
“The beautiful thing is you can take the train right to the stadium!” he said.
If the Patriots are victorious on Saturday, they’ll host the AFC Championship the following weekend. Although, Providence will once again be booked up, according to Gibbons, with 10,000 people expected to flood in for a cheer tournament.
Remember: The game’s on 12! Watch the Patriots take on the Texans at 8:15 p.m. Saturday on WPRI 12 and stay tuned for the Patriots Post-Game Wrap for live coverage from Gillette Stadium.