It’s that time of year again. Little Leaguers from all around New England have converged upon Bristol, Connecticut, for the Eastern Regional Finals.
On Thursday, as New Hampshire took on Rhode Island, the streets outside Giamatti Stadium were lined with cars. For area businesses, this tournament is a home run as families involved are ready to spend whatever it takes for the experience.
“It’s a lot. It’s a big sacrifice, but it’s worth it.” says Leslie Nixon.
Nixon has traveled from New Hampshire to watch her son play and like most other parents involved, is ready to spend some money in Bristol, especially on one thing.
“Food, food and food,” she said is the big expense.
Restaurants are ready, including Bristol’s Corner Pizza, They said they see a 10-percent increase inside the pizzeria, but really get a bump through delivery. Corner Pizza handles the account for the series, delivering 30 to 40 pizzas per night to feed the hungry players.
“We’ll see some come in and pick up,” said Corner Pizza owner Geoge Bourlogiannis. “But the biggest change is our increase in delivery. That’s a huge impact for us.”
No Little League tournament, though, would be complete without ice cream.
“It brings in a lot of the Little Leaguers when they come,” said Brittany Schug, a manager of a nearby Friendly’s, “It’s wonderful.”
Schug looks forward to serving all the teams, but knows, in order to do it, the restaurant needs to staff up.
“We definitely start adding more people on,” she said. “We need to make sure they’re well taken care of.”
Parents we spoke with said they are also prepared to spend seven nights in a hotel. No small expense, but one these parents are willing to do for the experience.
“It’s once in a lifetime,” said Mark Hall whose son plays on the Goffstown team. “They’re treating these kids like they’re pros out here.”
For the families involved, there is one sure way to cut down the expense of this tournament and that’s by being eliminated.
No one here is willing to make that exchange and all are very happy to continue spending if it means a trip to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for the Little League World Series.