CLEVELAND - The World Series wasn't a total loss for Cleveland. From bars and restaurants to hotels, local businesses cashed in on tens of thousands of fans watching the Indians face the Chicago cubs in downtown Cleveland.
The Indians estimated each postseason home game pumped $3 million into the downtown Cleveland economy, and that number could be even higher for the four World Series games.
Flannery’s Pub operations manager Nikki Sullivan said sales at the East 4th Street hot spot tripled during World Series games, in line with the NBA Finals.
“It's been great, not just for bartenders, managers, restaurant owners. It's been great for all of the downtown economy,” she said.
Part of the reason could be the number of Cubs fans that traveled to Cleveland.
“One Cubs fan told me it's cheaper for them to come to Cleveland, buy a ticket, get a hotel room, party, than it is to go to a game back in Chicago,” Sullivan said.
Two thousand hotel rooms were added downtown ahead of the Republican National Convention in July and all of them were booked for the World Series, with some charging three times their normal rates.
“The Cubs brought a lot of travelers into downtown. We saw significant occupancy, significant in terms of daily rates for hotel rooms. Our restaurants were packed. Our parking lots were packed,” said Joe Marinucci, Downtown Cleveland Alliance President and CEO. “All of the hotels downtown and many of the hotels within the system outside of downtown were fully booked.”
Rideshare service Uber reported triple the number of trip requests compared with an average weeknight, and Lyft reported double.
The long-term impact due to increased visibility for Cleveland is hard to measure after a remarkable year for events downtown.
“I've seen businesses come and I've seen them go. And I feel bad for those who weren't able to hold on to see this kind of business that 2016 has done for this neighborhood,” Sullivan said.