Detroit businesses concerned about MLB disputes having domino effect

Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers is April 8

Business owners and workers are worried about the MLB labor dispute having a direct domino effect on the most anticipated days of the year. The sight of an empty Comerica Park will hopefully be a sight of the past come April 8th which is the date now slated for the Detroit Tigers Opening Day. Whenever it happens, Michael Bowen and his Cornerstone Barrelhouse will be ready.

DETROIT – Business owners and workers are worried about the MLB labor dispute having a direct domino effect on the most anticipated day of the year.

The sight of an empty Comerica Park will hopefully be a sight of the past come April 8th, which is the date now slated for Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers.

Whenever it happens, Michael Bowen and his Cornerstone Barrelhouse will be ready.

“By far my busiest day of the year,” said Bowen. “Not even a comparison to anything else. It’s the one day Detroiters really, even if they’re not baseball fans, they’ll come downtown, enjoy the whole day.”

The concern is that the disagreement between MLB players and owners will literally cause his establishment plus other nearby businesses nearby like Buddy’s Pizza to miss out on a ton of money while they wait for an agreement to be reached.

“It’s really unfortunate that that happened,” said Buddy’s Pizza Manager, J.R. Riley. “But it is going to have a major effect on us as far as business going forth during the season.”

“I don’t know if they know how impactful it is to a city like Detroit and the businesses around the stadium,” Bowen said.

All of this while the many businesses and restaurants try to recover from already losing so much with COVID-19.

“Especially with everything going on, we haven’t had a real Opening Day, I think, since 2018,” Bowen said. “2019, I believe it got rained out. 2020 and 2021, it was still COVID going on.”

Riley, however, feels his restaurant will be just fine.

“Concerts and stuff and other events going on downtown will keep us afloat,” Riley said.

“I was definitely hoping that it would be wrapped up yesterday with that deadline loom,” Bowen said. “But I’m definitely still holding out hope that they’ll come to some type of resolve by the in the week here.”

The good news is that technically the only canceled games were road games for the Tigers. After the cancellations, Detroit’s first home game will be against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park.


About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.