Fans were allowed inside Progressive Field for the first time in more than a year Monday

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Posted at 6:38 AM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 06:53:56-04

CLEVELAND — Fans were allowed inside Progressive Field for the first time in more than a year Monday.

“Downtown Cleveland is still alive this year,” James Ianni said. “Very excited about what’s happening.”

Downtown businesses were packed with Tribe fans for the majority of the day and hopeful business owners shared their delight with News 5 about the boom in business and anticipation for the summer months.

“Typically we’d come downtown and be shoulder-to-shoulder in the bars,” Allison Ianni said. “Outside on the patios.”

“All the fans are still out but there are more masks and more being aware of social distancing,” James Ianni said.

Gentille Metcalf said she thought some businesses may strike out on Opening Day.

“Normally it would’ve already crawling big time down here and it would probably be standing room only,” Metcalf said. “I know here for a fact it would be standing room only.”

However, Metcalf said restaurants at capacity proved to be more of a grand slam for struggling business owners.

“You have an ambush of people coming down and everybody wants to hang out and have a good time,” Metcalf said. “I think they are doing really well with what they have to work with.”

News 5 attempted to talk to several business owners on Huron Monday and a majority of them said they were too slammed with customers, but the owner of Whistle and Keg says that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“The year that we’ve been through has obviously been very detrimental to a business that is serving people and we’re excited to see that not only are people coming out, but they’re going to places that they might not have come to prior,” Evan Walton said.

Despite a 3-0 loss for the Indians, pitching looked good and pitcher sales at Walton’s business looked even better.

"We’re here. We’re finally open. This date has been on our calendar forever and we’re just excited it’s here and to see that business is doing much better,” Walton said. “We were sold out actually almost in the first hour of some things.”