Austin merchants bracing for huge weekend of commerce

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

That cha-ching you hear in the distance is probably coming from Central Texas, where a colossal amount of business and traffic could be approaching this weekend around the Austin area.

More than 98,000 fans are expected at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium for the Longhorns' game against Arkansas on Saturday afternoon. And more than 60,000 others are expected at the same time at Zilker Park for the wildly popular Austin City Limits Music Festival.

The Austin American-Statesman writes today that the convergence is giving some fans a tough choice. Do they watch Mack Brown and Bobby Petrino square off when a once-in-a-lifetime concert beckons with top performing acts like John Fogerty, Allison Krause and Robert Plant?

The Arkansas-Texas game was pushed back two weeks because of Hurricane Ike. It's placed hotel rooms at a premium and even forced the Razorbacks to relocate for their preparations at Bastrop -- 30 miles away -- after their original hotel in suburban Round Rock was not available. And spillover rooms in San Marcos are tough to come by because Texas State is having Parents' Weekend on Saturday for the Bobcats' game against Southern Utah.

Fans who regularly attend Texas games already know about traffic.

Something tells me they better plan to start arriving at dawn on Saturday -- if not even earlier -- just to beat the rush and find one of those elusive parking spots near the stadium.