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TinCaps’ canceled season impacts local businesses in downtown Fort Wayne

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Officials with the TinCaps announced the 2020 season is canceled which will impact local businesses in downtown who rely on fans to bring in money.

Officials with the TinCaps made the announcement on Tuesday.

For the past few months, the TinCaps' season was put on pause to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. However, officials with the MLB announced they would not provide any players to its affiliated Minor League teams, including the Fort Wayne TinCaps, according to a press release.

"I think economically, visitor wise, and tourism wise, it's just another hit on what's been a tough year," said TinCaps President Mike Nutter.

So how does this announcement impact local businesses who rely on fans watching games?

Fort Wayne's NBC News talked with management at Rudy's located at 409 W Brackenridge Street in Fort Wayne.

Rudy's General Manager Joe Pasquali said his business relies on TinCaps fans watching games at the field.

"Every ball game, before and after, we see the pre-crowd and the post-crowd. So it's definitely a big hit," Pasquali said.

Pasquali said his management team believes the business will take a $15,000 - $20,000 hit per month because of the canceled season.

"It's going to be a tough year," Pasquali said. "It's a lot different, but when we look at it from the perspective of events and business, are all of us going to work less hours in the summer than we normally would? Yeah."

Fort Wayne's NBC News also talked with management at Pint & Slice to get their thoughts. The restaurant is located at 816 S Calhoun Street in Fort Wayne.

"Everybody that works over at the TinCaps and comes during lunch time and everything, they're our regulars," said Rachel Valenza, a manager. "We're going to miss them if they don't come in."

Both Valenza and Pasquali told Fort Wayne's NBC News that they are hopeful several local businesses in the downtown area who rely on TinCaps fans will adjust.

"It's okay," said Valenza. "We're going to survive and we'll be alright."

Louie Tran

Louie Tran is the weekend anchor for Fort Wayne’s NBC at 6 and 11pm and a weekday general assignment reporter. To share story ideas, please email him at ltran@wpta21.com.

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