WEST LAFAYETTE (WLFI) - If there's a group of people who love the recent Purdue basketball success more than the fans, it's the local business owners.
Laura Broughton loves her Boilermakers. She's the store manager for University Bookstore right across the street from Mackey Arena and bleeds gold and black. The team's sccess also helps at work.
"It all started with the uptick in football and it's led very strongly into the basketball season," said Broughton
"Normally, this time of year is slow. We say in January and February it's too cold for people to go out, so that's when the inventory sits," said Broughton. "But this year, our inventory has been pretty empty in certain areas. The basketball specific items have really sold really well this year."
Their stores have been locally owned and operated for more than 80 years, and this season has been busy.
"We usually see pretty good traffic the two hours to one and a half hours before the game. There's a huge tick in traffic this year compared to last year," said Broughton.
If people aren't buying apparel, they're filling up on food. A popular place around Mackey is the Stacked Pickle.
"It's a heavy rush," said Manager Tanya Barr. "Two to three hours before the game and then after the game it's like a herd coming down Northwestern Avenue."
That means a nice bottom line on game days.
"This coming Thursday for the Purdue vs Michigan game, we are anticipating a pretty strong sales day," said Barr. "Probably three times what we do on a normal day."
For both though, it's about way more than the money. It's about community.
"The Boilermaker fanbase is amazing and they not only support their team, but their community," said Broughton. "Most of them are alumni or from the area, so it's really nice to see that come back in."
"It's very profitable for us, but it's not about that on those days," said Barr. "It's about taking care of the fans and making sure everyone has a good time."
There are five more home games remaining, including this Thursday at 7 p.m. against the 25th ranked Michigan Wolverines.