Kansas State's #1 ranking a big win for Manhattan

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats are the number one team now in college football.

The people who live in Manhattan, Kansas are especially excited because when Coach Bill Snyder's team wins, so does the entire town.

People in Manhattan believe Snyder and his winning team are part of the reason for Kansas State's $75 million makeover and record $1 billion in the town's retail sales this year.

John Pagen, with the Chamber of Commerce, summed up the excitement.

"(It's like) that old saying in sports: 'Winning takes care of everything,'" Pagen said. "It's going to be phenomenal in the next couple of weeks."

One jewelry store in historic downtown Manhattan said its sales win when Snyder's coaching football.

The manager said when Snyder goes into retirement, so can his sales.

The Chamber of Commerce said retirees are a growing group relocating to Manhattan. The group has increasingly bought second homes there since Snyder came back to Kansas State.

Enrollment at the university is up 50 percent.
         
Last year, Forbes Magazine called Manhattan the single best small place for business and commerce. Retailers say that football is a big part of that.

"It's undeniable to say that Coach Snyder hasn't had a long term effect on the business community," said the owner of Harry's Restaurant, Even Grier.
 
Last week, his employees said they saw record sales.

The one worry about the 73-year-old coach, who turned around what was once one of the worst football programs in the nation, is that he will eventually have to retire.

"Everyone needs a good succession plan," Pagen said.

Kansas State plays Baylor Bears Nov. 17.

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