With the Phillies winning the National League Division Series and the Eagles beating the Cowboys over the weekend, the teams weren’t the only ones celebrating — and seeing signs of the dollar.
On 13th Street, Shibe Vintage Sports completed a month of business in one weekend. Across Broad Street, happy fans celebrated the Eagles’ win at the Good Dog Bar until 1:45 a.m. Monday.
From Philadelphia to Norristown to Bucks County, restaurants, bars and sports memorabilia stores have reported business growth of 20% or more in recent weeks. Owners say it’s thanks to the Phillies’ playoff run that coincides with the Eagles’ undefeated start to the season.
“Having both teams perform well is a dream come true,” said Christopher Mullins, co-owner of McGilling’s Old Brewhouse in Center City. “It’s refreshing. … There’s just a whole new life on the street,” and life is spreading to bars and storefronts, far from the stadium lights of South Philadelphia.
The fall has always been lucrative for sports businesses in the area, with the Eagles typically the largest team in Philly, several owners said.
but autumn usually doesn’t this profitable.
Fans were ecstatic as the Birdies started the season 6-0 for the first time since 2004 and the Phillies played playoff baseball for the first time in more than a decade.At the same time, for the league and the playoffs Start 76ers and Flyers season.
In recent weeks, revived fans have shown a greater willingness to spend — not just on game tickets, but also on hefty bar tags and new jerseys, hats and other swag.
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Co-owner Brian Michael said Shibe’s business has grown steadily since the Eagles’ season began, with sales up 50 percent in October compared to this time last month.
Eagles gear remains Shibe’s bestseller. But Michael said the Phillies’ long-sleeved shirts, knitted caps and hoodies were also pulled from shelves. The same goes for children’s clothing, he said, because the school has days featuring the Phillies and the Eagles.
He said last weekend was very busy.
“With the Phillies home game and night [Eagles] Gaming, giving people more time to shop, all of those things make for a perfect storm,” Michael said.
Owner Dave Garry said Good Dog, at No. 15 and near Locust, had its best performance in months on Saturday as the Phillies captured the division title. Sunday was also busy, with fans drinking in bars until the wee hours of the morning, something Gary said they don’t do when the Eagles lose.
“Everyone is happier when they win. They’re always looking for the last one on their way home,” Gary said, noting that Good Dog’s business was up 30 percent last week from the previous week.
Mullins said the Phillies’ playoffs were the biggest boon at McGillin Field, where Eagles games often draw large crowds.
The historic watering hole is almost always closed from 9 p.m. to weekends, he said. But if the Phillies play during the day, it will start filling up closer to noon, he said.
During the week, some remote workers brought their laptops to post at midday postseason baseball games. Others who returned to the office had extended lunches or ended early to watch with colleagues, Mullins said. The scene was busier than usual as weekday lunch crowds have dwindled since the pandemic.
“That’s why it’s more precious to own the game these days,” Mullins said.
Overall, business grew by about 25%, he added.
The suburbs are also feeling the impact.
At 2912 Eatery and Bar in Steppy, Norristown, manager Anthony Taormina said any team in the playoffs would increase business. He said he expects business to grow by 25% in the days leading up to the Phillies’ playoffs.
Sports memorabilia store Bucks County Baseball Co. is increasingly visited in Bristol, with online sales up at least 20 percent over the past two weeks, said JP Lutz, who co-owns the store with his father Jim.
“I think what’s unique about this year in terms of championship numbers is that no one really expected the Phillies to make the playoffs. For the most part, the Hawks were amazing as well,” he said.
Some people buy vintage gear from past tournaments as lucky charms, and a new generation is excited about the Phillies, he said.
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Michael of Lutz and Shibe said they hope to stock up ahead of the holidays and order more Phillies than usual.
“If there was a march, we would be at the center of things,” Michael said. “We’ll be placing orders with our suppliers next week to see if they have any chance of making it to the next round or even winning.”
The restaurateurs were also farsighted, tentatively adding staff on days when the Phillies might play and preparing for championship festivities — all without putting their beloved team in the dark.
The exhaustion of such a celebration, they say, is worth it — because of the uptick in sales and the excitement it will instill in the city.
“It gave us the best days,” says Good Dog’s Garry, recalling having to help bartenders after the Phillies’ World Series win in 2008. Often, “New Year’s Day will be the busiest day ever. The World Series and the Super Bowl blow it out of the water.”