Downtown Businesses Welcome Sports Fans Back

The downtown sports stadiums are not the only ones excited about bringing fans back to the stands. Businesses surrounding the stadiums are prepared to welcome patrons back to their eateries, reports Marielle Mohs (2:16). WCCO 4 News - April 7, 2021

Video Transcript

- Downtown sports stadiums are not the only ones excited about bringing fans back to the stands.

- Businesses surrounding the stadium should benefit in a big way. Tomorrow, 10,000 fans can return to Target Field for the first time in over a year. Earlier this week, Target Center welcomed 3,000 fans. WCCO's Marielle Mohs spoke to business owners getting ready for a highly anticipated boom in business.

DERMOT COWLEY: All the woodwork was, uh, restained, sanded, restained. The bar was all sanded, restained.

MARIELLE MOHS: During a 13-month hiatus, Dermot Cowley stayed busy refurbishing his downtown Irish pub.

DERMOT COWLEY: And then we put in this bench seating with the peanut table, and that probably the best table in the house now because you can sit there and watch everything that's happening in the pub.

MARIELLE MOHS: O'Donovans is a popular spot for basketball fans. They've been closed since March of last year but opened on Monday for the first night of Timberwolves fans returning to Target Center.

DERMOT COWLEY: It was just so emotional and so, uh-- not just for us as a team here but even for our guests that are regulars.

MARIELLE MOHS: Right now, Cowley's biggest worry is the size of his team. He is in dire need for more servers to handle the influx of customers.

DERMOT COWLEY: I could hire like 12, 13 people tomorrow morning if they're available.

MARIELLE MOHS: It may feel like people have been coming to this North Loop staple for some time now, but in reality, last summer would have been their first full Twin seasons. Instead, they completely missed out. So you can imagine how excited they are this season to finally have fans.

BRITTNEY KLASS: We probably are expecting from last year to be up maybe 60%.

MARIELLE MOHS: Brittney Klass is the co-owner of Graze Provisions + Libations. To prep for the return of Twins fans to Target Field, they've made some improvements, bringing in five new vendors including the grand opening of a new coffee shop and wine bar.

BRITTNEY KLASS: It feels amazing to be here at this point and just know that, like, we can gather and be community again. It's just like just for good, old, American baseball.

MARIELLE MOHS: Businesses are already showing their spirit for the season ahead.

In downtown Minneapolis, Marielle Mohs, WCCO4 News.

- Graze also expanded outdoor seating options and is offering a valet service during the Twins season to help with parking. If you're interested in applying for one of the serving-- server openings at O'Donovans, we have some information at wcco.com