true-sf-giants-new-era-cap.jpgAs San Francisco Giants fans gear up for Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday, local businesses are eagerly anticipating the influx of sports fans and the economic benefits of hosting them.

San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau spokeswoman Laurie Armstrong said the Giants’ participation in the series will benefit the city for years to come.

“In the short term, of course, people will be coming to stay in the hotels and eat in the restaurants,” Armstrong said.

“In the long term, there will be tremendous brand recognition, beautiful shots of San Francisco being shown around the world,” Armstrong said.

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Jim Lazarus concurred.

“You could not afford to buy the advertising value of those blimp shots that we’re going to see on Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening,” Lazarus said.

Estimating the immediate economic benefits is difficult, Lazarus said, since the World Series will be played in town for at least two days and possibly as many as four.

“There are clearly thousands of people who will come in from out of town,” Lazarus said, including MLB sponsors, a huge press corps to cover the event, the Texas Rangers themselves and their guests and fans.

MLB and the San Francisco Giants will also be hosting private events at the California Academy of Sciences and Pier 48, presenting a boon to local businesses in the form of “hundreds of thousands of dollars in catering and special-event expenditures,” Lazarus said.

Armstrong pointed out that all visitors traveling to San Francisco, whether just for a day or a series of nights, will contribute to the city economically through hotel and sales taxes.

“That benefit will reach across the entire city, even for people who don’t see the visitors every day,” she said.

Chris Cooney, Bay City News

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