Year number 8 for Montgomery Biscuits, impact on downtown

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) --To give you some idea of just how much the Montgomery Biscuits mean to downtown merchants, consider the story of Clay McInnis, a partner in the now-closed Brew Pub.

"Unfortunately, we won't be able open right away," said McInnis.

For the first time since the Double A team started playing in Montgomery, the Brew Pub as we know it won't be open for at least the first half of the season.

McInnis says they can't do anything until state lawmakers take up what's known as the 'Brew Pub' bill, a package deal that would allow McInnis to expand the pub to include retail shops and a brewery bar.

"Hopefully we'll be able to open in the latter part of the season," McInnis said.

In the meantime, there is little doubt the team has helped fuel the growth in downtown Montgomery, a handful of new restaurants in the Alleyway.

One of those new businesses is The Deli at Alleystation, a business that employs 25 people.

Linda Blackman knew she was taking a risk when he plunged into the food business but so far she says it's been worth every penny.

"The Biscuits were an incentive," said Blackman.

Even more remarkable is the Biscuits organization seems to have done well, beating the Great Recession, average attendance of 4,000 per game over 7 years and on schedule in paying the city back for the $26 million stadium.

So far the group has paid back more than $4 million to Montgomery.

Joe Davis says what they've done is no secret.

"We've always been the cheap alternative. You go to Turner Field in Atlanta and you'll easily spend a hundred dollars," said Davis, broadcaster for the Biscuits.

Opening day is Thursday, former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy will reportedly make his pitching rehab debut for the Birmingham Barons when they play the Biscuits Friday night.

On top of that it's Evan Longoria and David Price 'bobblehead' weekend.

Getting back to Clay McInnis, by his own admission he is losing money but believes it's only a matter of time before he gets to 'batter up' in the retail and food industry.

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