Wood Ducks are a home run for Kinston businesses

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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - It's been about a month since the Down East Wood Ducks opened their season at Grainger Stadium and in that time, Kinston Mayor BJ Murphy says there have been positive economic impacts, but that it's hard to put a number on it at this point.

At North Street Pub and Eatery, owner Nicky Rapoza says he's looking for long-term benefits as one of many local sponsors of the home team.

Rapoza says they see team players coming in and dinner crowds coming earlier or later, depending on game time, but that the real impact will be years down the line when more and more people are coming into town.

At Leon Thomas inside The Exchange, owner Tonya Adams says it's an exciting time for the community.

"Right now, it is a magical time for Kinston, we've got all these new businesses popping up and with the ball game, it brings people in and they'll go eat, they'll come over here and shop," Adams says.

At Mother Earth Brewery, sales have been largely increased. Mother Earth is the only local craft brew sold inside the ball park.

The Tap Room downtown is also seeing an uptick in foot traffic.

Mayor Murphy says the visiting teams are staying in Greenville because of hotel capacity in Kinston, which he says is a positive regional economic impact.

The Wood Ducks played are back in Kinston Friday night at 7 p.m. against Buies Creek.