Mud Hens opening day draws thousands to downtown Toledo

People crowding downtown Toledo early for opening day..PNG

TOLEDO, OHIO (WNWO)-- Opening day for the Toledo Mud Hens is synonymous with beer, brats and of course baseball. For local restaurant Pizappalis it's also the start of something else.

"Opening day is probably the busiest day for us, " said Dave Keen manager for the pizzeria.

They have customers streaming in by the dozens from the start of the day until close.

New to downtown Toledo, the Tin Can Bar has also been prepping for weeks. They brought in the entire staff for the big day and are tripling their drink supply.

"Lets just say our liquor order itself was about $5,00 dollars, I believe we spent about $10,000 on beer today," said bartender Ashley Gherkin.

It's expected opening day itself draws about 20,000 people downtown, but crowds throughout the season will impact business.

"The Mud Hens draw so well," said Steve Miller General Manager for the Huntington and Seagate Center. "They draw over 500,000 people through the year."

This draw brings thousands of dollars to the Toledo economy.

"Each person's going to spend 20 or 30 bucks at a minimum," said Miller . "It adds up to a significant amount of economic impact for downtown Toledo."

It's not just restaurants taking advantage of the crowds. Knight insurance group in the Warehouse District hosted an opening day party and bake sale to give back to the community.

"We took the opportunity to raise money through a bake sale to send a veteran and a host to Washington DC through the Flag City honor flight program," said Diane Keil-Hipp , Chief Operations Officer of Knight Insurance Group.

Win or lose, it's the love for the game and downtown Toledo which keep crowds coming for more.

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