CLEVELAND, Ohio — The brick oven is on and the bar is always open at Pizza 216 in Downtown Cleveland, and baseball fans know it.
“Especially for opening weekend, it’s really never not busy in here,” said Christian Anzel. “We have a loyal baseball fan group, customers who are diehard fans who come in here every single year and every single game.”
But dedicated fans will have to wait a bit longer to see the newly named Guardians debut at Progressive Field as players and MLB owners try to find common ground on a new collective bargaining agreement.
The long-awaited and highly anticipated March 31 Opening Day is postponed, and the first two series of the regular season are canceled, which cost the Guardians and their fans six home games.
“I understand that between the managers and players you want to get certain things established contract-wise, but I feel like the teams are letting the fans down because they don't want to do their job,” said Guardians fan Danielle Jones.
When it comes to the economic business of downtown restaurants and bars like Pizza 216, management said they won't feel a drastic financial loss but the camaraderie they were expecting on March 31 is certainly a loss.
“It’s sadder to think about it for the city than it is our business, we have people who were looking forward to this, looking forward to spending the game here and the pregame here,” said Anzel. “I think in terms of the overall loss it wouldn’t be towards us.”
But people say their optimism isn’t fading, and they’re looking forward to this issue getting resolved as soon as possible.
“All this money stuff [between players and the MLB] is annoying,” said Jones. “I’m looking forward to seeing the potential that we have to go ahead and start playing.”
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.