MLB lockdown threatens restaurants around Coors Field

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DENVER (KDVR) — The 2020 baseball season started late because of COVID, but it didn’t start late because of a disagreement between owners and players since the 1990s.

The delay could set back many bars and restaurants that rely on full seats at Coors Field to make ends meet.

“We’re still getting started, for the most part,” said Robert Hoelting, general manager of Ultreia, a restaurant in Union Station.

It’s near Coors Field where you’ll find other sports bars or restaurants and it’s one of the places fans flock to for a drink or a bite to eat on game day.

“All afternoon games, all evening games, we fill our entire restaurant before the game starts,” Hoelting said.

This is all the more important as restaurants come out of their low season.

“We’re just coming out of January and February, which is like the slowest time of the year for us,” Hoelting said.

Restaurants would normally look forward to the start of the baseball season, but a possible delay to the regular season looms as negotiations between players and owners continue.

“Once baseball season starts and we start having those times when we should be really busy, and we’re not, those are going to be the times when people go: what’s up where are all these people,” Hoelting said.

These people would typically show up between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on a typical game night.

“Missing that few hours, even if it’s a few hundred dollars, a few thousand dollars, that’s a big deal for us right now,” Hoelting said.

It’s a big deal that could mean big losses if the seats aren’t filled at Coors Field and the Rockies don’t play ball.

There is still time to salvage the normal start of the season, usually at the end of March, but owners and players will need to reach an agreement by February 28.

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