Ross Amin doesn’t manage a ball club. In fact baseball is not even his sport; bowling is.
But for his Capitol Bowling Alley, the River Cats mean big business.
“We do get a lot of business after game is over, because we are open till late,” Amin said.
Amin is one of the growing number of nearby business owners that has sprung up since the River Cats’ new stadium opened. Every baseball season, more and more people come to the area and start to spend money at his business.
“I can say 10-15% sales increase when there is a game those nights,” said Amin.
During baseball season other convenient stores, bars and restaurants in the blocks around Raley Field all say the same thing. But the benefits also exist after the season ends.
“Economic benefit is sales tax generated in the area and also just the property value increase that has happened just because of that development,” said West Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem Mark Johannessen.
Johannessen says the success of Raley Field has given the city a jumping off point for turning the river front area around. In the next decade, the improvements will be obvious.
“We’re looking at walking districts the whole entire way. We’re looking at an activated river front where you have restaurants and clubs and outdoor amphitheaters and just a lot of entertainment,” Johannessen said.
Just look across the street and you can see the changes as new apartment buildings go up.
“We’re trying to build housing closer to the urban center. That spurs different developments. It spurs different industries. It spurs the diversification away from state government into a more economic base, which is going to be very helpful for this region,” Johannessen said.
With a street car planned for Downtown and West Sacramento in the next few years, soon it`ll be even easier for fans to get to the games.
It was a much different story before Raley Field opened in the year 2000, a time Amin remembers well.
“It was a little quieter, there was not too much traffic and we had customers coming only for the bowling,” Amin said.
He hopes River Cats fans continue to strike out after the games.
“There’s good food here, we use fresh product as much as we can, we have reasonable price, and it`s a nice place to hang out after the game and before the game and it`s walking distance to the ball park,” said Amin.