Sports are back in action! Whether it's local teams like the Wheatland Kings or the Strathmore High School Spartans, or pro leagues like the NFL and MLB, it's a great time to be a sports fan. And that's not even including the return of the NHL and NBA in October!

While this is exciting for sports fans, it's not just the sports fans that are celebrating. Executive Director of the Strathmore Wheatland Chamber of Commerce (SWCC) Scott Silva said this is also a great time for local businesses.

"Our local sports teams, everything from our Heritage B Junior B teams and even our AAA and Bantam teams, they have a huge impact on the town and the region. You can see all of our arenas are just packed on the weekends. It's great for not only everybody in the Chamber of Commerce, all of our business members, but the entire business community," he said.

A big reason local sports is so great for our businesses is that the visiting teams may want to take advantage of some of the great hospitality Strathmore offers.

"A lot of those teams, because of driving out here, they're going to either have to do everything from possibly fueling up, they might have to grab some food, they might even be spending the night."

While hospitality has the most to gain, Silva said all businesses could see more customers, "There is still an uptick with some of the indirect businesses that will probably see some of the some of that increase in traffic."

Silva emphasized the importance of local sports specifically, but he added the pro sports leagues could also have a positive impact. 

"Getting into those local pubs, bars, and breweries (to watch pro sports), I think it is something you're going to see happening a lot more. I think the big sports coming back is going to be huge for the industry as well."

Silva didn't have exact numbers as to how much growth local businesses should be seeing, but he estimated that a 10-20% increase could potentially be on the way.

Local and pro sports should create a positive impact all around, but Silva added that different businesses may benefit more from one compared to the other. For example, Some restaurants and lounges could see a direct impact through Monday Night Football and the return of the NHL, while family restaurants may see a lot more sports teams visit after their games in the community. Either way, the return of sports is a big win for both sports fans and the community.

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