The Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau says this weekend brings in more than $3 million to the community. That's because, after people leave the stadium, it's time to spend money at restaurants and hotels.
"This is one of the big events of Champaign," said Sam Santhanam.
He's General Manager of iHotel and says this weekend, they're booked.
"One of the teams has to come, so we get phone calls six, seven weeks before. They're hoping to come and play. That's why they want to start making calls," said Santhanam.
But next year, the phones may not ring as much.
"It is a little bit of a loss," said Jayne DeLuce. She is the President and CEO of the Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
She says that the $3.1 million that the event brings in goes to things like public safety, health care and education. It also helps create jobs.
"It's a huge boom to the community," said DeLuce.
That's why they're making sure next year is still busy but, instead of relying on high school teams around Thanksgiving, they'll lean on the Illini.
"You still have the revenue coming in, but it's an Illinois football weekend that would've been another weekend. We say there will still be a lot of visitors in town," said DeLuce.
"It helps very well because Thanksgiving weekend when all the students are away, so there's something to bring to the community. The hotels will be full because of this," said Santhanam.