Economic impact on Kinston due to MiLB season cancellation

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 10:00 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - On Tuesday, Major League Baseball informed Minor League Baseball that it would not be providing players for minor league teams, thus officially cancelling the 2020 MiLB season.

This decision will have a huge impact on the Down East Wood Ducks, and it will also have a major impact on the surrounding Kinston area used to heavy traffic and economic growth during baseball season.

The Woodies play at historic Grainger Stadium in Kinston, bringing in out-of-towners throughout the season to stay in hotels, eat at restaurants and shop at stores around Eastern North Carolina.

But now there won’t be near as much business as there was during past baseball seasons.

The Whiskey Pig Craft Butchery and Deli has been in Kinston for almost three years, serving anyone from locals to baseball players, travelers and other visitors to the area.

Genell Pridgen is the owner of Whiskey Pig and says during baseball season she gets a lot of foot traffic through her door.

The Down East Wood Ducks, an affiliate of the Texas Rangers, brought in lots of revenue to Kinston.

Mayor Don Hardy said the decision will impact the area but the city of Kinston, Woodies, Texas Rangers and MLB all want to put the health and safety of players and fans first.

And when it comes to local sponsors, the Wood Ducks say they were prepared for this decision and have kept their sponsors informed.

But business owners like Pridgen will have to look forward to 2021.

Pridgen said she wants people to continue to support local businesses in the area because if you don’t they may not be here after the pandemic is over.

The Down East Wood Ducks released a statement that said the decision to end the season is “sad”, but they are looking forward to next year.

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