Businesses eager for Little League World Series to return in 2021

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WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Little League World Series returns to Williamsport, but it will be scaled back.

The Little League World Series will take place here once again. This year won’t be open to the general public and only teams from United States are playing. However local business owners are happy to welcome the Little League World Series back to Williamsport in any capacity.

“It’s amazing to see how a small town like Williamsport becomes such a big city during Little League and everyone comes and kind of supports the small businesses like the Bullfrog,” Bullfrog Brewery server Ashlyn Bird said.

The return of the Little League Baseball World Series to Williamsport is exciting news for local businesses like the Bullfrog Brewery.

Little League president and CEO Stephen Keener made the announcement Monday afternoon. The Little League Baseball World Series will be held as scheduled this August in south Williamsport.

“There’s something very special about that 12-year-old season in our program and it was taken away from too many kids last year, and we didn’t want to do that again this year,” Keener said.

Its absence in 2020 showed how much the local economy relies on those special 11 days.

“We rely on those 11 days during the year and unfortunately, Little League had to do what it needed to do last year as a number of events didn’t occur. We felt it obviously with our restaurants, our shops,” Williamsport Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce president Jason Fink said.

Steve Koch, owner of Bullfrog Brewery says traditionally the Little League World Series is their busiest time of the year:

“We get people from all over the globe. It’s a very special event,” Koch said.

Williamsport won’t host any international teams this year. Instead, 16 U.S. teams will play. Another big change: it won’t be open to the general public, only select family members and people associated with the teams.

The local economy should still see a positive impact, according to the chamber of commerce because people who can’t sit in the stands, can find a seat at the table or the bar.

“It will be cool to see people from the United States. Even though it’s not going to be the foreign teams, it will be really cool to have everyone here and give them some information about Williamsport and about what we do here at the Bullfrog.” Bird said.

The local events surrounding the Little League World Series like the parade and Williamsport Welcomes the World are still up in the air.

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