BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The boys of summer are back with the Orioles home opener this Friday at Camden Yards.

Jessica Kartalija reports baseball means big business for Baltimore City.

Baltimore City’s newest restaurant Brio Tuscan Grille is preparing for a game day rush.

“We anticipate that whole opening weekend and then even into the next week when the Yankees come to town to be full the whole time,” said Martin Atkinson, Brio Tuscan Grille.

More foot traffic means more beer and bar specials and more exposure.

“We’ve staffed extra staffing. We’ve increased inventory levels to make sure we take care of everyone. We are basically all hands on deck for the Opening Day weekend,” Atkinson said.

With a sold-out home opener, millions of dollars are expected to pour into Baltimore’s economy. That’s great news for Brio and other Baltimore area bars and shops.

“I imagine this year we will have a stronger attendance figure, which will lead to a stronger economic impact number,” said Tom Noonan, president of  Visit Baltimore.

One-third of all game attendees typically come from outside of Maryland, giving Charm City national and international attention.

“It’s the official kickoff tourism event for us,” said Noonan. “This is when tourism officially kicks in for Baltimore. Opening Day, and that’s a huge number all summer long.”

With Camden Yards celebrating its 20th anniversary, a new and improved stadium is expected to draw even more fans this season.

“I think it will help a lot, and they will think ‘I will come down here next year,'” said a local.

“I hope they have a good season,” said one Orioles fan. “I hope the Ravens have a good season. I have to support my hometown.”

Will the Orioles open this season with a victory? WJZ is your place for complete Opening Day coverage this Friday. Our special live coverage of the Orioles and the Twins begins at 2 p.m. right here on WJZ-13.


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