BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — Orioles opening day is just around the corner and it is expected to bring a much-needed boost to businesses in the area.
“It’s our biggest sales day of the year, every year by far,” said Tom Leonard, Pickles Pub General Manager.READ MORE: Santander's 3-Run HR In 9th Leads Orioles Past Yankees 9-6
Opening Day typically brings thousands of people to downtown Baltimore, and businesses WJZ spoke with said they are looking forward to it after capacity restrictions at Camden Yards in 2021 attracted fewer people to the area.
“This year it feels like, I don’t want to say back to normal, everything is like ‘the new normal,’ but it feels like the real thing,” said Leonard. “People will be able to stand, there will be the big crowds.”
Opening day in 2021 was limited to 25% capacity to allow for social distancing, but now all of the ballpark’s 45,971 seats are open to fans.
For hotels like the Hyatt Regency at the Inner Harbor, Director of Sales, Marketing and Events Ilemona Salifu said that should translate to more guests.
“Super excited now for this year’s opening day,” Salifu said. “No face masks and no restrictions and things like that make us very happy just to see the business come back and the occupancy levels go up.”READ MORE: CIAA Basketball Tournament Drew 36K Fans And Had $19.6M Economic Impact, Officials Say
President and CEO of Visit Baltimore Al Hutchinson said that more people are now back to work in the area.
“I think this year is special, we’re putting people back to work right. So at Camden yards folks are back working again, we have a number of our small businesses and our restaurants that have been struggling during this pandemic and we’re going to have fans,” he said.
Hutchinson said that Camden Yards has attracted 72 million visitors and generated $10 billion in economic impact in the 30 years it has been open.
The Hyatt Regency at the Inner Harbor is offering an opening day special called the “Fuel Up Package” which offers guests a $30 gas gift card to encourage more people to come to the city and offset the cost of higher gas prices.
Pickles Pub is offering a free breakfast buffet from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Opening Day along with $2 16-ounce Miller Lite cans and $5 Deep Eddy Vodka. Later in the day, Leonard said that the restaurant will offer $12 30-ounce orange crushes and other specials.MORE NEWS: Dr. Fauci Urges UMD Baltimore Graduates To 'Live A Life Of Service'