WCPO: Delay to MLB season could hurt seasonal workers, businesses

UC economics professor says areas outside of downtown might be affected, too

As Great American Ball Park hosted a hiring fair for seasonal workers on Wednesday, Major League Baseball and its Players Association remained at a labor impasse.

With MLB players currently locked out by the owners and Opening Day scheduled for March 31, time is running out for the season to start on time. According to UC Economics Professor-Educator Erwin Erhardt, III, PhD, a delayed beginning to the baseball season could have wide-ranging economic ramifications, affecting season workers and businesses in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Erwin Erhardt professional headshot

UC Economics Professor-Educator Erwin Erhardt, III, PhD.

“I think we’re looking at roughly $350,000 to $500,000 on some weekends, depending on who’s playing — the Braves, the Cubs, St. Louis Card[inals] always bring their fans in with them,” Erhardt told WCPO. “So, it’s a huge draw. That means a lot in terms of income for the city.”

Erhardt said the bulk of the dollars spent goes to hotels and restaurants in downtown Cincinnati, but he also noted the money spills out of the downtown area, with fans traveling to sites such as the Cincinnati Zoo and Kings Island.

The doubt surrounding the start of the MLB season is a headache for business owners, too.

“You don't know how to plan,” Erhardt said. “You don't know how many people to have on staff, and albeit staff is sometimes difficult to get these days, but you don't know what's going to be coming at you. How many people still come, for example, down to The Banks.”

See more from WCPO.

Featured image: UC Economics Professor-Educator Erwin Erhardt, III. Screenshot courtesy of WCPO video.

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