Businesses are gearing up for the potential sea of customers that opening night of the Erie SeaWolves will bring to downtown Erie.

“We are looking forward to the crowd from the SeaWolves coming into Chipper’s and being busier for us,” said Curtis Jones Sr., co-owner of Chipper’s Seafood and Southern Fusion.

“I think we’re going to see a lot of traffic through here and hopefully be part of the summer festivities over there at the ball park,” said Elliot Smith, General Manager at Perry’s Tavern.

Past experiences of large crowds has helped businesses learn what to do to better tackle the busy season.

“I mean, you can never really know for sure what you’re going to get but we try to plan on a lot of people. We learned over the past couple months that you can never have too much pizza on hand to make,” Smith said.

Business owners share what expectations they have for 2022 as they tackle the crowds for the year.

“We’re looking forward to that and definitely anticipating increase in our sales as well as meeting people within the restaurant itself,” Jones Sr. said.

While UPMC Park has made game day preparations, the local business owners have made their own preparations for the anticipated surge of customers.

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“We do make some staff adjustments, and we’re going to have to make some adjustments because things are opening up and it will be more busy,” Jones Sr. said.

The SeaWolves opening day kicks off at 6:05 p.m. on Friday, April 8, as they take on the Akron Rubberducks.