They say it’s lonely at the top…
Well, make no mistake, Craig Glazer of Stanford & Sons comedy club isn’t the only lonely, local businessman to take note of the financial toll the success of the Kansas City Royals baseball team has taken on the area economy.
Pizza and beer sales have likely soared with the tens of thousands of locals who settle in night after night to watch Royals games on television.
Face it, watching baseball in the comfort of one’s own home has to be among the world’s cheapest dates/family freebies.
And clearly for sports bars, taverns and restaurants with multiple televisions, showing Royals games is a plus. Grocery, liquor and convenience stores have probably fared reasonably well as well.
However, woe be to the restaurant, bar, nightspot, movie theater, comedy club, mall or retail store that’s had to muddle through while a sizable chunk of the population hunkered down in front of their big screen televisions.
Now I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret.
For years those of us with but a passing interest (or less) in the Kansas City Chiefs have known that the absolute best time to go shopping is on a Sunday is while Chiefs games are being televised.
There’s like zero traffic and shopping center parking lots and stores are eerily empty. And wandering around nearly empty streets is reminiscent of an old Twilight Zone episode, which is kinda cool.
For the third year in a row, will the Kansas City area continue to revert to a ghost town on nights the Royals play, now through October?
There are like 25 games in the month of April alone!
Last year’s Royals schedule had a crippling effect on many small, local businesses. However in decades past – before practically each and every baseball game was televised – life went on, while maybe 20,000 to 40,000 locals trucked out to The K to watch the games and however many thousand baseball nerds holed up by their radios.
No harm, no foul, but that was then.
There is hope for this year however because some say continued Major League Baseball successes can lead to diminished fan zeal. That once a team has made its climb – gone to the World Series, etc. – the novelty wears off and the masses in subsequent seasons begin to take things in stride, take team’s successes more for granted. They essentially return to their alternate lives and ways.
There’s also the distinct possibility of the team slipping in the standings while other teams rise to the forefront. So we’ll see.
Nonetheless, with MLB gain comes financial pain and we may soon find out whether the entire Kansas City area economy will again crippled this year by – what’s it called? – baseball fever.