Thanks to the Jays, Downtown's Economy is Playing Serious Ball
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Thanks to the Jays, Downtown’s Economy is Playing Serious Ball

All things considered, the Blue Jays' strong season is proving to be a greater boon to the local economy than the Pan Am Games.

Photo by Grant D from the Torontoist Flickr Pool

Photo by Grant D from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

The Toronto Blue Jays aren’t just boosting local morale on the #sprots front. They’re also bolstering the downtown economy.

It’s not a huge shocker, but businesses near the Rogers Centre have been really enjoying Jays Fever. Particularly for neighbouring restaurants, the team’s strong showing this season has been a boon for sales. Baseball fans, as it turns out, like eating food and drinking beer.

The Globe reports that last weekend’s two sold-out matinee games made for both a pre- and post-game restaurant rush, with spokespeople from nearby Milagro and Lone Star Texas Grill attesting to the spike.

Because this sporty business bump comes hot on the heels of the Pan Am Games, it’s hard not to compare the two. While the recently completed, PACHI-tastic, multi-sport extravaganza was expected to make it rain hard for the local economy, for many businesses it brought a misty drizzle at best. A Moneris Solutions Corp. report from the end of July pointed to a 53.2 per cent increase in entertainment spending from July 10 and July 26 in the area between Bloor Street and Harbourfront from Jarvis to Bathurst streets. In areas surrounding non-downtown Pan Am locations, including Ajax, the York University area, and Milton, gains were much more dramatic.

Still, the Pan Am Games were considered a letdown for many downtown businesses according to some reports. And, of course, the games’ costs themselves—such as, for instance, $10,000 tents—vastly outweighed the local economic gains.

Still, it’s nice to know that sports can pay. Especially when they don’t cost the city a veritable mint.