Oracle Park reopening: Businesses excited to welcome back Giants fans

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The businesses surrounding ballparks and other outdoor venues are also welcoming the reopening news. 

Having a big-league ballpark without fans for more than a year has really taken it out of bars and restaurants surrounding Oracle Park — Some of them were not able to weather the pandemic.

For those that have been able to hang on, they hope bringing people back can help reinvigorate the area.

Many benefits of being situated near a major sports stadium practically vanished when COVID-19 kept fans away from Oracle Park. 

The governor’s announcement Friday to let some Giants fans back in is great news for neighborhood bars and restaurants like MoMo’s.

“They’re the greatest neighbor we could ever ask for. When that place is full it’s 43,000 of our closest friends coming over before the game and if the giants play well they’re coming over after,” Scott Morton said.

Scott Morton has had to do without a huge chunk of those fans for more than a year.

The number of people allowed back to the ballpark will continue to have restrictions based on the state’s color-coded reopening tiers.

San Francisco is currently in the red tier limiting stadium capacity to 20%.

For bar owner Paul Cardinale, welcoming back any amount of fans provides a glimmer of hope.

“If it’s a thousand people, if it’s 10,000 people, all we need is 1% of those people to be walking around and spending money in this neighborhood,” Cardinale said.

There are some concerns about allowing fans back to Oracle Park without increasing capacity within bars and restaurants.

Nearby places like the alchemist on 3rd Street want to be able to meet the potential demand.

“Even at 50%, if there is a 6 feet restriction between tables and standing room is not allowed our capacity to serve is going to be greatly reduced,” bar owner Phil Chen said.

Restrictions aside, businesses are delighted about the prospect of the area coming alive again.

“We’re super excited for the Giants to come back. They look like a good team this year as well but it’s just something, some energy in this neighborhood is great, better than anything right now,” Cardinale said.

San Francisco is trending in the right direction in terms of reopening but it’s still unclear what tier the city will be in by the time April 1st rolls around.

Oracle Park will host the Giants first home game on April 9th.

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