Saginaw gets economic boost from Spirit - WNEM TV 5

Saginaw gets economic boost from Spirit

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

The Firebirds and the Spirit. Two Mid-Michigan rivals going stick-to-stick.

And this time, competition is a good thing. It's big business for the two cities they are representing.

Lisa Kelly is the owner of Bradley's, a downtown Saginaw restaurant.

 “It definitely gets much busier,” Kelly said.

She said every game the eatery is packed with hockey fans before the puck drops.

“We were so happy to get past Labor Day and get back into the regular groove of things,” Kelly said.

Over the past year, more businesses have moved into downtown Saginaw – realizing events like these games make people want to spend time here.

With more business and a rivalry like this bringing people to Saginaw, it's easier to make it an entire evening in downtown.

“Before you couldn't really make an evening of it, you could come for an event, but that was it,” Kelly said.

Jim Atwood owns The Savoy. The bar and grille has been downtown for years, but he said he enjoys seeing so many new faces to the area

“It's great to see the people come down here. Great to see the camaraderie between the home people and visitors,” Atwood said.

With less than a 45 minute drive from the Firebirds' hometown of Flint, many Saginaw establishments hope the games bring Firebirds fans here too.

“They can do dinner here and make it an evening here. They don't have to eat in Flint before,” Kelly said.

But Saginaw isn’t the only city feeling the benefit of the new hockey season. Flint is getting an economic boost from the Firebirds.

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