WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Lycoming County is one of the counties that will transition from red to yellow next week. But news that the Little League World Series is cancelled will deliver a big hit to the economy.
The Little League World Series annually draws in close to 100,000 people from all over the world in a two week period. This year, that won’t be happening.
“It is not a decision Little League took lightly. They put a lot of thought into it. But given the circumstances going on in the world, they made the right decision,” said Jason Fink, President/CEO of Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.
Now, the local economy will be losing millions.
“The economic loss is going to be between 35 and 40 million dollars,” said Fink.
Some of those affected are local restaurants like the Brickyard Restaurant and Ale House. They’ve already seen huge revenue cuts due to the coronavirus. The cancellation of the Little Leauge World Series will be crippling for them.
“We’re already not making any money. We’ve already lost two months of business and this isn’t over yet. And now we’re losing the busiest two weeks of the year. It’s not just my business but it’ll be crippling to the town,” said Tony Ecker, a restaurant owner.
Communities in Lycoming County are not the only ones losing tourism dollars.
“A number of our attractions will be impacted. We have river boats that’ll see a loss from it. You have Clyde Peelings Reptile Land, just a number of different attractions that’ll be impacted. Knoebels Grove,” said Fink.
According to officials, this was the best decision to keep families safe and help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“While they might not be able to play the World Series and it’s a mad loss to us, hopefully you’re going to see kids playing with fields here very soon,” said Fink.
This is the first cancellation in the Little League World Series history.