Springfield businesses face economic impact with cancellation of Springfield Cardinals 2020 season
The Springfield Cardinals have cancelled their 2020 season and local businesses are facing a potential impact to their revenue. The Dugout bar and grill in Springfield is close to Hammons Field and the owner, Matt Netzer, said summer usually brings in a crowd of fans.
"The games are really popular in the summer time so yeah it counts for maybe 25% of our business," Netzer said.
He said as a business owner he's had to adapt to changes since the outbreak of COVID-19 began. The loss of the Cardinals season is another curve ball he has to deal with.
"We have to staff less people," Netzer said. "Just have to run it leaner than we usually do. It's all kind of a domino effect. You know it hurts a little bit but we're surviving."
Cardinals General Manager, Dan Reiter, realizes cancelling the minor league season impacts a lot more than just his players and staff. He said Hammons Field draws about 350,000 people each season.
"They're people that are eating and drinking downtown," Reiter said. "There's hotel stays for people that are making weekend trips out of it. It's a hub where people are coming from about 100 mile radius that this community's gonna miss out on."
Reiter knows 70 home games suddenly vanishing hurts the 150 part time employees who work there. He said he's thankful Springfield's designation as a "taxi squad" for the Big League Cards will keep some of the workers busy.
"I think most notably would be the field crew, you know, since we have been selected as the taxi squad location for the St. Louis Cardinals we need to make sure our field is as good as it's ever been," Reiter said.
Seasonal employees could get financial help through the Cardinals Care Grant. Reiter says many workers remain confident and are trying to stay positive.
"Everyone's very sympathetic," Reiter said. "You know I think everyone, we're all in this together. It's our entire community and I think people understand what's going on with others. Doesn't mean you'll always like it or happy about it."
Netzer said he's glad he has outdoor seating at The Dugout so he can continue to attract customers in the upcoming months.