How much of an impact the District gets from the Fall Classic depends on whether visiting fans speak with a Texas twang or squawk like New Yorkers.
D.C. hotels, bars and restaurants will enjoy an economic boost from Washington’s first World Series in 86 years, but how big a boost will depend on whether visiting fans speak with a twang like Texans or squawk like New Yorkers.
“The city will see $6.5 million in economic impact from the Houston Astros if they are our opponent. And if it’s the New York Yankees, the total would be $8.8 million,” said Robin McClain, senior vice president of marketing and communications for Destination DC, the group that manages conventions and tourism in D.C.
“We are going to be welcoming business that we would not have without the World Series here,” McClain said. “You can really feel the excitement throughout the city, whether you are watching with folks at local restaurants and bars or just walking down the street seeing all the Washington Nationals gear that people are wearing.”
There are several factors driving the different economic outcomes of either Houston or New York as a World Series opponent.
“New York is closer, and so people can make that decision to come to D.C. closer to the times of the games. … It’s a drive market, you’re coming down the East Coast corridor, it just makes it easy,” McClain said. “New York is also our top domestic visitor market, and so it just makes sense that we would likely welcome more people from there.”
“If it’s Houston, it’s really just a distance thing, in terms of people having to take flights here, and so that just becomes a little bit more limiting in terms of the visitation estimate,” McClain said.
Besides out-of-towners, locals are expected to help boost business at restaurants and bars during the Fall Classic.
“It’s incredibly exciting right now, and while my restaurants aren’t directly close to the ballpark, I don’t think that’s the biggest indicator,” said Dan Simons, co-owner of Founding Farmers and Farmers Restaurant group.
“Winning and smiling stimulate. Get off the couch, get out of the house, go hang out with people, and that drives people into restaurants,” said Simons, whose group operates six restaurants in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and one in Pennsylvania.
There are also sellers of Nats team merchandise, as well as caterers, souvenir vendors and even bicycle and scooter-share firms that stand to gain from the World Series.
Josh Bear, general manager of D.C.-area Spin e-scooters, said they have about 20 hubs around the area. That includes one near Nats Park, “and we’re working on getting two more up before the World Series.”
During the World Series games that are to be held at Nats Park, Simons expects his restaurants could see a 10% to 15% in sales.
” … The whole city comes alive — bars and restaurants,” said Simons.
“It just puts a smile on people’s faces.”
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