By Jesse Wood
Up until the point where University of Miami running back Mark Walton scored on an 80-yard run during the opening play from scrimmage, Boone was buzzing Friday and early Saturday for the biggest event ever to take place in Boone.
The campus of Appalachian State University, downtown Boone and greater High Country were brimming with visitors. In fact, App State Athletics announced that Kidd Brewer Stadium featured its largest crowd in history: 34,658, which was the maximum capacity that the stadium could “safely and legally hold.”
On Friday evening, App State Athletics held a pep rally and allowed extra tailgating. On Saturday, skydivers delivered the game ball to midfield prior to the game, and country music star and App State alumni Eric Church acted as a celebrity co-captain. Gov. Pat McCrory also attended the event, which aired live on ESPN.
Ronnie Hayes, the general manager of the Boone ABC store, said that the football game attendance wasn’t the only record broke during the weekend. Hayes said the Boone ABC store sold “just a hair” shy of $70,000 of liquor on Friday, which is a one-day record.
“It was crazy busy. There were lines out the door. If they could have got on the roof, they would have been on the roof. It was something else,” Hayes said, adding that things returned to about normal on Saturday.
A spokesman at the Boone Police Department said that the weekend went off without a hitch. During the peak travel times of the weekend, the department tweeted about allowing extra time to travel and being patient during the traffic congestion.
“It was fine. We’d prepared for [the game] and didn’t have any problems. Everything went very well,” Boone Police Department spokesman Shane Robbins said.
See a recap of the game here.
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