The Reno Aces are now officially halfway through the first season in their new ballpark. So far, despite a struggling economy many small businesses in the downtown corridor say they are seeing an increase in foot traffic on game days.
"We've seen a positive impact, especially on our restaurants since the season started," says Callie Singh of Siena Hotel Spa Casino. Sienna is one of several local businesses that offer discounts to fans with game day tickets. Singh says in addition to baseball fans stopping by for a meal, fans from opposing teams are booking hotel rooms to come watch the games.
Many smaller businesses say they are see an influx of customers before games get started. Katie O’Neil from Java Jungle says “the parking garage on this end of town is offering $5 parking on game day so they're drawing a lot more customers closer.” Some shops like Port-Of-Subs event get business directly from the baseball park. They say they deliver 3 giant subs for every home game.
So far the first season has been good, but some downtown businesses are worried about a planned shopping center next door to the stadium. They say if are shops located that close to the ballpark, there will be no incentive to fans to walk downtown. For now though they are getting some new customers in the way of sports fans, and as the popularity of the team grows many are hoping business will too.