Baseball's Impact on Downtown Economics (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Eric DeFreeuw

April 2, 2013 Updated Apr 3, 2013 at 9:57 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.nbc33.com) – With the Fort Wayne TinCaps home opener just over a week away, a number of downtown businesses are anxiously waiting for the game’s first pitch.

Over the past four years, Parkview Field has brought a lot of traffic downtown, meaning big bucks for area companies. You don’t have to be a sports fan at all to see the impact the new stadium has brought to the area between the new bars, restaurants, and housing developments. After all, that was the original goal the city had in mind when they built it.

It’s not just baseball games either. Greg Leatherman, the Executive Director of Redevelopment in Fort Wayne, says the stadium wears a number of hats on a daily basis.

"Over 510,000 people were in that ballpark for baseball games, for 'Fort for Fitness,' for wedding receptions, charity events. And so it's used almost every day, and that was what was intended and it's actually fulfilling its mission in that regard."

Through projects like The Harrison, the latest push by the city is to bring housing options to its residents. But in order for that to succeed, basic amenities like grocery and drug stores need to be addressed. Leatherman reassures these basic concerns will be taken care of eventually, right now they are focusing on having sufficient living units for residents to move into.

Projects like this, in addition to further residential development, are what we can expect to see within the next 5 to 10 years.

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