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Businesses Feeling Impact of Astros Losses

Going into today’s game against Washington, the Astros had won just 19 of 54 games and find themselves in last place in the National League Central Division. So what impact is this futility having on businesses near the stadium that depend on baseball fans? Bill Stamps went to Minute Maid Park to find out.


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bike cartFinding a parking spot near Minute Maid Park on game day isn’t that difficult these days. For the past three years Shawn Charles has made a living giving fans a ride from far away parking spots to the stadium on one of those bicycle chariots. Charles says having a winning team would definitely help. He still gets plenty of business with the Astros being in last place.

“Dome games, when they do bad, business is good, and some games when they do good, business is bad. You never can tell with the Astros. It’s just Houston sports period.”

Back to those parking lots, Tim Kenslow runs a lot across the street from the stadium. I asked him if Astros lack of wins is having an impact on his business.

“Oh absolutely, until they win, a winning team that people come see but you still have fans that are going to come out. And those are the fans that we cater too. You gotta take of the people.”

Bill: “What would be different if they were in first place?”

“We’d be 20 dollars and full.”

Bill: “What are you now?”

“We’re 15 dollars and doing the best we can.”

parking lot near minute maid

It’s less than ten minutes before game time and obvious most of the lots aren’t going to fill up. But fans not wanting to see a last place team may not be totally to blame. This is an afternoon game with a 1:05pm start time.

Across the street at The Inn By the Ballpark, valet workers are busy parking cars for customers who are going inside for a drink before the game. Chris Ziadie is the manager.

location, location“We’ve seen some decline, but we’ve got other business that’s supplementing that. So we’ve got a lot of group business. A lot of companies do business with us, so they’ll come here. They’ll gather and then go across the street. So we’re very fortunate to have the location we have, cause we’re probably not feeling it like some hotels.”

In recent years, the Astros have started slow and finished strong. Ziadie says that’s when business starts picking up.

“Definitely the attendance is better, so my attendance is better. Because people are passing by here, and they’ll come in and have a drink and they’ll have something to eat. Again, location, location.”

All the businesses say things would definitely be better if the team were winning. The final score of this game was 6 to 4 Astros.

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