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Military Bowl Expected To Draw Big Crowds In Annapolis

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Meghan McCorkell 370x278 Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A flood of people are expected in Annapolis on Friday as the city hosts the Military Bowl for the first time. The University of Maryland will take on Marshall on the field. Businesses hope it will be a big win off the field.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the preparations.

The one day event is expected to bring in about $2 million to Annapolis businesses.

Navy Marnie Corps Memorial Stadium gets a makeover, as crews prepare for the Military Bowl. Both Maryland and Marshall fans are flocking to the state capital.

“Can’t have enough Maryland football!” said Terps fan Jeff Axline.

“This year I know we have a lot of fans coming up,” said Marshall fan Amy Parent.

For the past five years, the game has been held in Washington, D.C. Some say they’re happy it’s moving to a military town.

“It’s here where the military is primo in the hearts and minds of Annapolitans,” said Senator John Astle, (D) Anne Arundel County.

Officials expect all 34,000 seats at Navy Stadium will be filled for the big game.

Between 2009 and 2011, the bowl game brought in an estimated $36 million in D.C.

“The expectation is that people will go to the game, the game finishes around six o’clock. They’ll be deposited back downtown and shops and restaurants will be open,” said Connie Delsignore, Annapolis Visitors Bureau.

The owner of Paws Pet Boutique in downtown Annapolis hopes that bring in foot traffic.

“I think it’s wonderful. There’s just more spirit and energy in the town, which there already is during the holidays. So this just brings more and continues that camaraderie and community spirit,” said Michelle Kownacki, Paws Pet Boutique.

Marshall fans are already meeting up at Fado Irish Pub.

“This is a big bonus. It’s a big shot in the arm for us,” said Andrew Gardner, Fado Irish Pub.

An economic boost Annapolis businesses hope will remain a holiday treat.

Annapolis is expected to host the Military Bowl for seven years.

Festivities begin with a parade starting at City Dock at 11 a.m. Friday morning. The game starts at 2:30 p.m.

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