PHOENIX – While baseball games are resuming, it is not doing much for businesses that thrive on feeding baseball fans during the season, as games are being played without fans due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Downtown Phoenix is home to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and restaurants in and around Chase Field are starving for business.
“Sales were down about 75%. Even with baseball back, we haven’t seen any uptick at all,” said Fred Morgan, the co-owner of Fired Pie.
Fired Pie has a location that is very close to Chase Field. Prior to the pandemic, sports fans brought in nearly 40% of its business.
Now, the site is close to striking out.
“Our lease is coming up, and we’re really debating now on if you want to stay open or not,” said Morgan. “Hopefully, we can see what happens in the next couple weeks, but it’s been rough.”
Gadzooks was so excited to team up with the Diamondbacks, they built a restaurant inside Chase Field and scouted out ways to serve fans safely. However, they haven’t even been able to take a swing.
“We’re really excited for the opportunity,” said co-owner Jared Pool. “Of course with COVID, things have changed, but we’re ready to rock.”
There is no word when fans will return to baseball games, so until then, owners and employees are left in a pickle.
“With the Diamondbacks back, sports back, we’re starting to see the energy come back a little bit,” said Pool. “Our loyal following with the customer base is wonderful, but without fans in the stands, it’s hard to get people to come Downtown.”
The Chamber of Commerce puts the economic output from the Diamondbacks at over $400 million a year.
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