The announcement from the Erie Bayhawks came as a surprise to some downtown business owners, several saying they are disappointed to hear the news.
With the news of the Erie Bayhawks ceasing operations is a blow to the local tourism industry.
“We’re obviously disappointed that we’re losing one of our attractions that we have to promote Erie.” said John Oliver, CEO of VisitErie.
Oliver said the Bayhawks season gave local fans and visitors something else to do in Erie, especially during the colder months.
“It provided them an additional entertainment opportunity when they were here, so it may not have been there primary reason for coming to Erie, but then having the opportunity to go and see professional basketball.” Oliver said.
Several downtown restaurant owners say they’ll feel the loss as the Bayhawks season brought in a lot of business.
“We used to do great business, families would come in before the games. People would come in after the games and have a drink, so it’s definitely going to hurt.” said Marci Honard, Owner of Calamari’s.
Honard isn’t alone. Other restaurant owners say this news is hard to hear.
“It’s just so disappointing for the city as a whole, but especially for downtown Erie, it’s definitely going to hurt.” Honard said.
While many local business owners say they’ll feel the loss, they are hoping other events will attract visitors to Erie this summer.