December 7, 2022

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MLB lockout: Canceled games affecting vendors near T-Mobile Park

As the league cancels another week of games amid a labor standoff, local vendors are dealt another blow.

SEATTLE — Major League Baseball has cancelled another round of games, as a result of the labor standoff between team owners and players.

It’s another blow off the field for the people and businesses that rely on Mariners game traffic for six months out of the year.

Bill Weise, the General Manager of the Silver Cloud Inn, across the street from T-Mobile Park said he was sold out for the first week of the Mariners Homestand.  

“We had instant cancels, from our opening day, that’s our biggest weekend,” Weise said. “We were counting on baseball to be that over the hump situation.”

In fact, the Inn is not alone as the hospitality industry tries to recover from the pandemic. 

Also on Wednesday, Visit Seattle’s Tom Norwalk testified before a Seattle Council committee about the need for additional tax revenue to promote the industry. 

“We’ve got a long way to go,” Norwalk told the council members, noting that the city lags in spending behind contemporary cities like Nashville, San Diego, Portland, or Denver. Norwalk also claimed that hotel occupancy is at 43%, down from 80% in 2019.

“Opening Day is obviously the best,” said Gavin Chung, who runs a Kettle Corn stand in the middle of Occidental Avenue, a stone’s throw from T-Mobile Park. “The players have their point of view, they’re fighting for a new generation.” 

His stand relies on foot traffic. “Let’s have something go right, that would be nice,” said Chung.

T-Mobile Park itself employs 1200 to 1500 people on any given game night, in concessions, security, and other off-field jobs. It is unclear what would happen in a prolonged work stoppage.

“As my father would say when you find yourself of your rope, tie a knot and hang on,” said Weise. “It’s billionaires fighting with millionaires and the fans and the businesses are the ones that suffer, and we hope they come to a resolution really quick.”