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The Economic Impact Of The Dayton Dragons Missing Opening Day

The Dayton Dragons have sold out all 1,385 home games they've played, but game 1,386 is on hold for now because of the coronavirus.
Courtesy of the the Dayton Dragons
The Dayton Dragons have sold out all 1,385 home games they've played, but game 1,386 is on hold for now because of the coronavirus.

Thursday was supposed to be opening day for the Dayton Dragons—the minor league baseball team that holds the longest sellout streak in American professional sports.

The Dragons have sold out every game for 20 straight seasons, but now season 21 is being delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s not just the players who won’t be working.

Tom Nichols, the Dragons TV and radio broadcaster, doesn’t have a game to call, and he says many part-time and seasonal workers will be missing out too.

“Ticket takers, ushers, concession stand workers, pressbox employees—those are some of the other different areas, in addition to our full time staff,” Nichols says.

The Dragons economic impact in this region is estimated at over $27 million dollars a year, and a lot of that takes place outside the gates of the ballpark. It’s at the bars and restaurants around the stadium. It’s in the $5 and $10 parking spots, and all the merchandise sold in stores.

When the team launched in 1999, there wasn’t much going on in downtown Dayton. Today, that’s completely changed. And the team’s been at the center of the city’s resurgence. 

The Dragons are trying to keep fans engaged through social media, and they’ll be launching new online materials for fans on their website, but it’s not the same as a real game.

No one’s sure if or when baseball will be played in 2020, but in Dayton the economic impact of not playing starts today.