PEARL, MS (WLBT) - Spring means one thing in Pearl, the Mississippi Braves return to Trustmark Park.
"Everybody is excited and ready for the season to start," said park General Manager Steve DeSalvo.
The team is coming back after disappointing crowd numbers last season due to bad weather. "I know it is an exaggeration, but it seemed like it rained every day and that seemed to continue into the fall, into the winter. I'm hoping that we can break that trend a little bit, that cycle, for this season," said DeSalvo.
When crowds come they bring their business to local stores, hotels and restaurants. The Holiday Inn next to the park is near capacity Thursday. While folks are waiting for the game they are shopping at Sam's and Bass Pro.
"They come in prior to the game, have dinner with us, do a little bit of shopping," said Bass Pro General Manager Patrick Renegar.
"They wanted to come buy some clothes. We knew it was right across the road from the park," said Bruce Pritcher visiting from Pelahatchie.
Nearby an empty field signifies where the outlets of Bloomfield are set to be built. A spokesperson for the developer, Spectrum Capital, said over 187,000 cars pass by the lot every day. Due to poor economic conditions and consumer spending, the leasing phase is currently in a holding pattern. Spectrum Capital is ready to move on the project when the economic recovery begins.
"It will definitely help our business and we'll compliment each other as well," said Renegar. "We have been (anxious for the opening) for the last couple years. We'd love to see more people out here," said Renegar.
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