Fans, businesses prepare for potential Opening Day delay

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- With a delay of Major League Baseball's season looking more and more likely, area baseball fans and businesses are preparing for a later than usual Opening Day.

The Milwaukee Brewers are scheduled to open their season at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks at American Family Field on March 31. Opening Day is the busiest day of the year for Milwaukee sports bar Kelly's Bleachers.

"The Brewers are our bread and butter," said owner Anthony Luchini. "Not having Opening Day when it's scheduled, or delaying it, it hurts. It doesn't bring people in as early as we want."

According to Luchini, Kelly's Bleachers shuttles somewhere between 1,000 and 1,300 fans to American Family Field for the game on Opening Day. Along with that, he says anywhere between 300 to 500 people are on the property at a given time watching the game and having a good time with family and friends.

"We love the money, don't get me wrong, but we love the atmosphere," explained Luchini. "We love seeing our friends, family and customers come on in, and when there's no Brewers games, it's a little slower here, and when it's delayed for a couple of weeks, there's almost a feeling of sadness."

Brian Smith purchased tickets on Monday for a game in July. He says he's optimistic that the delay won't impact his plans, but is still disappointed at the thought of Opening Day being pushed back.

"Obviously, the last couple of years have been tough, but we're hoping for a fun year," Smith said. I hope they get this ironed out as soon as possible. Everybody wants to have a little fun, enjoy the spring time."

Both Smith and Luchini are choosing to remain positive and hope that once the first pitch is thrown, whenever that may be, it will be the start to another successful Brewers season and potentially another playoff appearance.

"I hope we get to the World Series!" said Smith.

"We're still anticipating an Opening Day and still looking forward to it," Luchini said. "This place will just be insane on Opening Day, so we're looking forward to that."

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