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Local Businesses Waiting Anxiously For Opening Day

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 1: Prince Fielder #28 of the Detroit Tigers looks on during batting practice beforethe Opening Day game against the Minnesota Twins on April 1, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 1: Prince Fielder #28 of the Detroit Tigers looks on during batting practice beforethe Opening Day game against the Minnesota Twins on April 1, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

DETROIT (WWJ) Metro Detroit is 48 short hours away from Opening Day at Comerica Park — the unofficial local kickoff to spring, and an undeclared holiday for baseball fans.

After a long, cold winter and a hockey lockout, Opening Day is the celebration downtown businesses have been waiting for.

“This is our St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll be jam packed until 2 a.m.,” said manager Jim Lamb of baseball fan favorite Harry’s Detroit.

He’s expecting 4,000 to 6,000 visitors to come through the doors, with both floors and the parking lot at capacity all day long. “You meet a lot of interesting people,” Lamb said.

Lamb said the better the team, the bigger the crowds.

“A lot of people that didn’t like baseball in the past got into the excitement, especially when a team goes to the World Series,” Lamb said of the team’s World Series appearance in 2012.

Will the team go big again in 2013? Only time will tell.

But on Opening Day, everyone feels like a winner.

Though the vast majority of people who come to Grand Circus Park and Comerica may not even be all that interested in the game, Lamb said. They’re coming to the Opening Day Block Party for live entertainment, food and drinks, or they’re just hanging out with friends at nearby eateries and pubs.

“I would say the vast majority of people come down, and don’t have tickets to the game,” Lamb said. “I don’t know the numbers, but I would image you’d have 200 to 300,000 people down here for Opening Day and you only have 45,000 in the stadium.”

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