World Series a sure bet to boost N.J. sports bars, shops, say businesses

//October 30, 2009

World Series a sure bet to boost N.J. sports bars, shops, say businesses

//October 30, 2009

Clash of Yankees, Phillies expected to generate high revenue in Central Jersey, where affiliations overlap.The baseball diamond will divide New Jersey this week — and businesses along the fault line foresee a windfall.

Major League Baseball’s World Series will split the state, with South Jerseyans pulling for the Phillies and those north of I-195 generally backing the Yankees.

Some small businesses along the line expect to see extra business, since they will have patrons backing both teams.

Michael Mastoris, owner of Alstarz Sports Pub, in Bordentown Township, is at the northern fringe of Burlington County, and says his customers are evenly divided between the teams.

“Even with the playoffs, we’ve seen a definite increase with both teams,” Mastoris said. He said he is getting reservations for an all-day marathon on Sunday, beginning with an Eagles-Giants football game before the fourth game of the World Series.

“It’s a good thing, not only for us as a restaurant, but for the state of New Jersey,” Mastoris said. His business will be offering specials on both beer and food during the games, with Rolling Rock and Miller High Life at $2 each.

While fans from both cities sport legendary levels of dedication, there haven’t been any incidents between the two sides, he said.

“There’s been a lot of intercity sports communication here,” Mastoris said diplomatically.

In the deeply divided city of Trenton, which is home to a Yankees minor league affiliate, sporting goods store Center City Sports has received increased interest in merchandise from both teams, according to manager Rich Riggi.

“We’re basically the dividing line,” said Riggi, who was expecting more merchandise from both teams. He said there has been a surge in Phillies-related T-shirts and sweatshirts since they won the World Series last year.

Center City Sports also has locations in Pleasantville and Hamilton Township in Atlantic County. Those stores are selling much more Phillies products, Riggi said.

E-mail Andrew Kitchenman at [email protected]