Restaurants eager for Dragons to reopen with limited capacity


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio took another step toward pre-pandemic conditions as case numbers continue to decline — and because of this — Governor Mike DeWine announced that indoor venues can reopen at 25% capacity and outdoor can reopen at 30%.

Each venue must follow the CDC guidelines, meaning mandatory mask wearing, social distancing and sitting in groups no larger than six people. General admission tickets are allowed so long as COVID-19 protocols are followed, meaning lawn seats and standing room areas.

Some local restaurant owners felt they wouldn’t survive the pandemic after the cancellation of last years sports seasons and the 10 p.m. curfew.

“Without the Dayton Dragons, it has been a challenge,” said Chris Bhai, Brixx Ice Company’s general manager.

For the first time in Dayton Dragons history, the stadium sat empty for the an entire season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Across the street, Brixx Ice Company was struggling with pandemic restrictions and the loss of Dragons games, resulting in a 70% decrease in sales.

DeWine announcement Thursday sent Dayton Dragons executives into planning mode.  

“I think the best thing right now is, we have time on our side, we open up on May 11 so still a lot of time between now and then,” said Eric Deutsch, the Dragon’s executive vice president. “We are very pleased with the announcement of 30%, that gets a lot more people in the ball games.”

 The reopening of venues brings hope for Brixx Ice as well.

“Whether you liked the PPP measures, whether you liked the curfew or disagreed, you have to admit it’s been obviously very effective because our numbers are great,” said Bhai. “We’re back to 30 and some other states aren’t even open. We have obviously turned a corner in Ohio.”

Dragons staff say they don’t have a firm time table on when tickets could go on sale, but will know more information as May’s Opening Day comes closer.

The Cincinnati Reds confirmed its 145th Opening Day will be on Thursday, April 1. The Reds have contacted Season Ticket Members regarding reseating plans and once the reseating process is complete, an announcement will be made regarding the public on-sale for Single Game Tickets.

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