HOUSTON – With playoff baseball back in Houston, thousands of extra fans from both teams, are expected to visit, for the games. While they’re here, they’ll also spend money.
It’s not a financial blockbuster, in the big picture, but still valuable for those catering to fans.
With bars and restaurants, especially in the nearby EaDo neighborhood, just blocks away from the ballpark, putting out the welcome mat for baseball fans is an opportunity to capitalize on any crowds who may want to eat or drink around game time.
Business leaders say having the Astros downtown is a critical fixture, as they project post-season games could mean a financial bump of $2 to $3 million from thousands of visitors each game.
“When they’re doing well, so is our downtown; so are our hotels; so are our bars and restaurants,” says Kris Larson, president of the Downtown Houston management District. “It’s really great for the psyche for the city, but it’s also good for the checkbooks, as well.”
For the hospitality sector of restaurants, bars and hotels, the post-season business bump can be an unexpected opportunity.
“We just hope that it’s better,” says Gotti’s restaurant & bar owner, Irv Williams. “Sometimes they come through and sometimes they don’t. We just hope that they do.”
Unlike a Super Bowl, or the Final Four, which have a lot more build-up surrounding the games, playoff baseball is much more of a ‘feel-good’ event for the city, with mostly local fans.
Should there be a Rangers-Astros series, before all this is over, expect a lot more of those fans to be visiting with their wallets.
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