ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks playing in the Eastern Conference Finals is bring business to downtown. Restaurants near State Farm Arena receive more customers on game night.
During the early stages of the pandemic, downtown Atlanta was a ghost town.
“We were really slow. People barely came out and we went to, to go orders only,” says Cedric Perry, a manager at Hudson Grille.
According to the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, over 400 events, meetings and conventions were cancelled due to the pandemic, leading to a 65 percent reduction in revenue.
But in the last three weeks, a rush of people and profit is bringing businesses back to life.
“I think it’s a breath of fresh air for all of the people that’s been trapped in the house for so long,” said Perry.
And the Atlanta Hawks’ in the playoffs is the icing on the cake for Hudson Grille.
“The Hawks are doing extremely well everybody’s got a new momentum and the city needs that. They needed to see and believe again in their home team,”
The team went from being counted out early in the season, to restaurants counting the coins they’re bringing in.
“We’ve watched every game and cheered them on and they have made our summer,” Tricia Maxheimer.
The Maxheimer family drove up from Savannah.
“It feels good to be able to go to a stadium that actually has fans in it because it was hard watching it last year," her son Blake said.
"It feels great, wonderful we just drove up from Savannah for the game tonight so it’s great to be out of town and don’t have to wear a mask," Burke, the grandfather said.