BALTIMORE (WJZ) — We’re a little more than 24 hours away from Opening Day for the Orioles, when thousands are expected to pack Camden Yards for the first pitch of the season.
Fans cheering on the orange and black will be also be carrying plenty of green, which is making a number of businesses around the stadium excited.
It’s been a long, long six months for businesses in the area who rely on events to help keep them going.
With an average of 2 million visitors to Camden Yards every year, people in the area are counting on the birds’ big bats to bring bucks to Baltimore.
With the crack of the bat, and the roar of the crowd, baseball is back in Baltimore.
While fans look to root on the boys in orange and black, businesses like the Pratt Street Ale House are also looking to score.
“We are 100 percent events driven,” said Greg Keating, with Pratt Street Ale House. “So if the convention center goes dark, the Orioles aren’t in season, and the Ravens aren’t in season, and there’s no concerts, we’re very slow.”
Keating says a number of downtown businesses rely heavily on events to drive up the score on their bottom line.
After a long, cold winter, he’s looking for business to heat up with the birds back on the field.
He’s not only planning a day-long party, but also putting people to work.
“So the Orioles not being here is definitely a factor in the way of life, and we missed them, we’re very happy to have them back,” he said.
Keating isn’t the only one excited about the return of Orioles baseball.
“We just know there’s lots of parties, lots of businesses and residents getting all excited about Opening Day,” said Kirby Fowler, with Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. “They’re going to restaurants, some people are staying overnight in hotels.”
With an average of 2 million visitors every year to Camden Yards, Fowler says the impact is hard to calculate, but they know it’s “massive.”
The impact is also felt in more ways than just dollars.
“I think about how every time the Orioles are playing, and they show the skyline or something about Baltimore, it sends a positive message to the rest of the country,” he said.
And that’s something everyone can cheer for.
Some of the businesses are planning for a two-day party after Orioles Opening Day on Thursday.
They’ll also be gearing up for Parrot Heads, as Jimmy Buffett takes center stage at Royal Farms Arena.