The Swamp Shop says it was the best sales season in history.
TALEDA, Ohio – Friday Toledo Valley will begin the next round of their playoff series by meeting against the Utah Grizzlies in the Kelly Cup playoff playoff finals.
Huntington Center officials said these playoff games bring downtown 8 to 9,000 people; a huge audience at Huntington Center.
And the Walleye hotspot means much more than just ticket sales.
Craig Katz is Swamp Shop’s director of merchandising. He said the 19 years of working there the business he sees is unprecedented.
“I’d say it’s the busiest year of all we’ve ever had. This is the highest year of sales, this year we have made more transactions than ever before, ”Katz said.
Katz said it’s not just about Walleye’s fantastic season. Fans are hungry for hockey after a year of missing due to COVID-19.
T-shirts, hats, mugs … Katz said it all flew off the shelves.
“We have a building of eight to nine thousand people, so obviously when they’re in the building, they’ll buy a lot of Walleye products. So the further Walleye goes, the more financially advantageous it is,” Katz said. .
This impulse is also bleeding in the surrounding bars and restaurants. Durty Bird manager at South St. Clair Street Kim McKnight said the more home games, the better.
“It’s a big boom in business, we welcome not only the obvious Walleye fans, but also the fans of the opposing team,” McKnight said. “We had a few today.”
McKnight said that in the playoff days the crowds start gathering around 3:30 pm before the game and then stay packed until they close at 8:00 pm. She says it is clear that Toledo and surrounding communities are coming out en masse to support Walleye.
“The sea of Walleye knitwear. Not just here, but around, it’s nothing more than blue and fish,” McKnight said.
McKnight says that when people walk into a bar, team rivalry stays at the door and everyone just becomes hungry customers.
All the managers say that the further Walleye goes, the more fans they see at local businesses, so for several reasons tonight they hope the pike perch will have another great game.