Businesses ready to play ball

With Major League Baseball anticipating that next week’s All-Star Game will pump some $60 million to $65 million into the local economy, businesses are gleefully girding themselves, hoping some of the windfall lands in their laps.

“There will be more money in town,” said John Waterman, general manager of the Field of Dreams sports-memorabilia store on Pier 39. “There’s a perception that there will be more of a high-end crowd of people who come for the All-Star Game.”

As such, Field of Dreams is trotting out big-ticket items, such as a $100,000 fine-art print of 50 of the best players in the first 50 years of the National Basketball Association, signed by 49 of them.

If San Francisco does reap the expected revenue from the game and its surrounding events, that will put it among the top revenue-producing games of the past decade.

The San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau is expecting some 100,000 game-related visitors to the city purchasing some 15,000 hotel room nights, SFCVB spokeswoman Tanya Houseman said.

More than 200,000 people are expected to take part in All-Star events, such as the DHL All-Star FanFest that begins Friday at Moscone West Convention Center. That will create an “all-hands-on-deck” staffing situation at restaurants near the convention center and SBC Park, restaurateurs reported.

Lloyd Knight, general manager of 21st Amendment, a brewpub on 2nd Street, said his preparations include increased staffing for longer periods. The restaurant is also hoarding its house-brewed beers to make sure it has enough, offering selections from San Francisco brewery Speakeasy Ales & Lagers instead.

“[Making] beer takes two weeks at least. We want to have the maximum amount of beer in the house, so this week we are serving a number of guest beers,” Knight said. “We’re trying to keep it as local as possible, basically. We’re trying to share the wealth and the exposure of the Bay Area.”

kwilliamson@examiner.com


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