The Houston Astros world series victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers provided the city of Houston with a much-needed morale boost. The city, still reeling from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey has not only benefitted from the emotional uplift afforded them by the Astro’s victory but has also seen tangible economic benefits that directly result from the team’s success.
The weeks following Hurricane Harvey saw a Houston community struggling to reconcile with the damage the storm left behind. Houston families persevered, picked up the pieces, and slowly began the process of rebuilding lives of normalcy by returning to work and school.
Once the totality of the damage to the city of Houston was assessed it was determined that the city had just endured the costliest natural disaster in the country’s history. Estimates of the city’s losses were as high as $190 billion dollars with the majority of these losses coming from uninsured property loss.
The damage extended past houses and included schools, refineries, and factories throughout the city. It was also estimated that Hurricane Harvey may have been responsible for rendering half a million vehicles inoperable. When all is tallied the damage seen by Houston following Hurricane Harvey may amount to more than the damaged caused by hurricanes Katrina and Sandy combined.
The Houston Astros team was affected by Hurricane Harvey on many levels. As individuals, each player and coach was faced with worries about family safety and property loss, as a professional sports franchise, there was the disruption of all normalcy for the team, and members of the Houston community, many initially felt helpless while watching on TV as the city they loved was relentlessly pounded by the Category 4 storm.
The team returned to the city of Houston on August 30th, a week after Hurricane Harvey first began its assault on the Texas gulf coast. The Houston Astros went to work immediately at helping the city of Houston rebuild, offering generously of their time, energy and financial support to the city.
Perhaps the largest contributions the Houston Astros made to the city of Houston was simply playing Baseball. The team played so well after the storm that it was impossible for Houstonians not to get caught up in the hype as the Astros run to the pennant provided the city with a perfect distraction from the horrors of the storm. Both the distraction and the stellar play of the Houston Astros would continue as the team would be crowned 2017 major league World Series Champions after outlasting the Los Angeles Dodgers in one of the most memorable world series to date.
The Houston Astros world series run has provided its own sort of economic stimulus package for the city. This benefit has been seen by local businesses and individuals alike.
One local woman is ecstatic that the Astros world series run provided a unique financial opportunity for her family that will help her grandparents rebuild their home.
The family of Brianne Bueno found themselves in possession of two tickets to game 3 of the world series which took place in Houston. The family decided that instead of attending the game they would make use of Facebook to raffle the tickets. The Bueno family as able to earn enough money through their Facebook raffle to repair the home of their grandparents.
Local businesses also benefitted from increased sales especially at restaurants, bars, and hotels. Patrick Jankowski, who works with the Greater Houston Partnership as Sr. VP of research, estimates that world series games played in Houston can possibly generate as much as $30 million dollars in revenue for the city of Houston.
Marcus Davis, a local restaurant owner says that his business has picked up since the Houston Astros began their playoff run. Davis’ restaurant, The Breakfast Klub has even played host to Los Angeles Dodgers fans that traveled to the city in support of the Dodgers.
Merchandisers have also benefited from the Astros success as evidenced by the long lines at Academy Sports & Outdoors stores in the Greater Houston area. The stores cannot keep enough Astro’s merchandise and company spokesman Allen Rojas reports that customers have even slept outside the store in anticipation of new shipments.
The scene at Dick’s Sporting Goods in the Galleria area was no different. Nick Hall recounts his experience on a recent Sunday morning of waiting outside the store for the opportunity to purchase Astros gear. The store, which usually doesn’t open until 10 a.m., made a small part of the store available at 6 a.m. in response to customer demand. Tables were piled high with shirts, hats, and pennants commemorating the Astros championship. A security guard was responsible for assuring that only 10 customers entered the store at a time.
Hall, a local lawyer working in the city of Houston, waited in line for 30 minutes before entering Dick’s Sporting Goods. Once entering the store, and observing the available selection, The Houstonian and Astros fan said simply, “I want everything.”