DURHAM—This Saturday, ESPN’s “College GameDay” is coming to Duke University — for the first time ever for a football game.
Marcus Manning, Executive Director of the Durham Sports Commission, says it is an exciting time for Durham and Duke University.
“Its transformational. How cool is it to just to say College GameDay is coming to Durham and its for football. It’s a tremendous thing for the university, for the city. It’s a unifying event.” said Manning.
The undefeated Blue Devils host #11 Notre Dame this weekend to a sold-out crowd. That means tens of thousands of fans making a big economic impact for the city of Durham. Manning says the city is preparing for a large influx of people.
“The entire day, it’s going to be packed…you have the hoteliers, the restaurants around the area that are prepping for alot of people coming to the area, coming to the region so people are excited about that.” Manning said.
Duke will try to start 5-0 for the first time since 1994. Just two years ago, Duke was 3-8. Mike Elko is 13-4 as the head coach of the Blue Devils and admits he did not expect so much, so soon.
“Did I anticipate in game five of year two that we would be on this stage? No, of course not and that’s a credit to our kids and that’s really all it is.” Elko said.
Manning says he is excited to see the economic impact the event will have on Durham, but they won’t know the numbers until after the fact.
“It’s an exciting time. It’s going to be a great football Saturday.” Manning said.
Ken Jeong will be the celebrity guest picker on the program. “College GameDay” will start at 9 a.m., with game picks presented near noon. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Wallace Wade Stadium.