FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- As the hopes for a TinCaps season continue to drop, so do the hopes of restaurant managers in the area, who rely on foot traffic from the minor league baseball games.
It's a double whammy the restaurants are dealing with this season.
"It's definitely been crazy. Going into March not really anticipating having to close down, and then just all of a sudden finding out one day, you know, we're closed until further notice," says COPPER SPOON'S GARY SKEEL.
He says no one could have anticipated the global pandemic that forced restaurants to close this spring.
He says now that the government is allowing 75% seating capacity, business has picked back up.
But he admits that losing foot traffic from the TinCaps games has hurt the bottom line.
"Sidecar, our outdoor bar, definitely sees an impact from the TinCaps not playing. We have a lot of people that like to come here before the games, after the games for the fireworks and those things. So Sidecar's definitely seen the biggest impact from it," Skeel says.
"We opened last July, so a completely different outcome," says Mariah Posey of Burger Bar.
Burger Bar is on the other side of the TinCaps West Jefferson gate from Copper Spoon.
Posey says while the restaurant was already set up for walk-up business, the coronavirus and the lack of a TinCaps season so far has made a difference.
"Last July obviously we had the TinCaps playing so we saw business from before the game and sometimes after the game when the fireworks are going off. So this spring we have just a little bit of a different feel. Every day is kind of a gamble of what we're going to get," she says.
So while TinCaps seats remain empty and concession stands in the stadium remain closed, and people choose to remain home because of the coronavirus, managers of both restaurants say they're grateful if any events are happening downtown, because more people stop by.
It still has not been decided whether the TinCaps will play any games this season.
Restaurants aren't the only ones hurting.
Fort Wayne's TinCaps team is one of 15 minor league baseball teams suing their business interruption insurance providers for denied claims during this coronavirus pandemic, saying they feel they've been treated unjustly and that they've lost too much money.