Minn.’s Losing Teams Hurt Businesses’ Bottom Lines

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota sports fans are likely tired of the old saying “we’ll get ‘em next year.”

The Twins have the second-worst record in baseball and the Vikings have yet to win a game this season. Even with the Lynx advancing to the WNBA finals, some downtown businesses are feeling the pinch as the losses add up.

Taking A Hit Due To The Hometown Team

After winning the division a year ago, the Twins are going to finish about 30 games out this year, and they won’t be the only ones left shaking their heads.
“We’re feeling it. It hurts,” said Tom Clifford, general manager of Smalley’s 97 Club. “There’s definitely not the same buzz as there was last year and we notice it on our bottom line.”

Business is down 15 percent from this time last year at Smalley’s. Once the Twins were officially eliminated, they had to cut back on staff.

“The crowds started showing up later, leaving earlier. They are not coming in after or before the game,” Clifford said.

Across the street at Hubert’s, business was up about 10 percent through August. But a non-contender has turned September into a different story.

“They still stop in. We still get busier after the games, but maybe not the same volume that we did during a playoff rush,” said manager Ryan Nelson.

The Twins aren’t alone in their limbo of losses; the Vikings are winless, and the Timberwolves may not even have season due to the NBA Lockout. Besides, last year they finished with the worst record in the NBA.

The Joy Of The Game

Still, some Minnesota sports fans simply find the game itself worth the price of a ticket and, perhaps, that of a meal, beer or hotel.

“I bought a 20-game package a couple years ago. There are tickets left to use so we are coming to the game no matter what. I love the stadium, I love the team, so I will keep coming,” said Jason Schuder, who drove 150 miles to watch Monday’s Twins game.

Some businesses, like the Graves 601 Hotel, said the Minnesota sports losses haven’t affected their business. A Graves 601 Hotel spokesperson said fans from the Dakotas and Iowa are still coming to Twins games, because they want to see Target Field.

The Vikings are 0-3 and currently alone in last place. Business has been good for the first two home games, and it’s anticipated that will continue no matter what happens with the team. However, a team spokesperson said the team still has tickets available for the remaining six home games.

More from John Lauritsen
  • bob

    I’ll drink to that

  • Bill

    Just a fly over town!, Even the players don’t care!

  • fred

    yeah great……twins, vikes, and t-wolves, all last place teams….can the wild be far behind?

  • Ted

    Now, we can add T-Paw & Bachman to our state of losers. T-Paw quit first (last place) and it’s only a matter for the other 1.

  • Give me liberty

    If losing teams are bad, think about the impact of no team.

    People need to get off the silly notion that professional sports only benefits the players and owners. There are a ton of small businesses that employ people and benefit from the professional teams.

    There is much more waste in the government system than providing some financing to build a place for professional teams to play. Need I remind you that the cost of the stadium is paid to the companies that build the stadium. Put a condition on any new Vikings stadium that all the work has to be done by local companies. Put some out of work people back to work. Lets find a solution before we spend twice as much tax payer money trying to lure a team back.

  • Pay your own way or fold your tent.

    Sure, throw good money after bad. That’s the solution.

    Win or lose, any sports team in MN should have to pay its own way, i.e. without taxpayer support. If the owners, players, and fans can’t cough up enough money to keep the team going, then it shouldn’t be here.

    Are you listening Zygi?

    • Lewis

      You must not know all the facts….

      If Zygi really wanted to build a stadium for the vikings he could do it overnight.
      Minneapolis Paid to build the metrodome (not the State) and at the same time they are charging the vikings to play their every year. and the city and the state get all the tax revenue form the dump all year round. then they each get all the taxes from everything else from benifiting from the stadium. Before i would wine about the vikings wanting a new stadium i would find out where the money earned is wasted and learn what would happen if the team left. The Vikings may not have the greatest record but they do bring lots of money and jobs to this economy and when the new stadium is built it will brong even more money and jobs to the area..

  • Robert

    Yep, and the Vikes want a brand new stadium. Win a few games, perhaps then your position will be better.

  • justice fleeting

    Small market is what small market does.

  • Darbs M

    I agree with Robert! These clowns want a new stadium, yet they can’t win a single game. They can use the ol’ Metrodome until they prove to us they are worthy of a new stadium.

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