Wednesday's big exhibition game between the Mud Hens and the Detroit Tigers drew thousands of people to Fifth Third Field, as well as nearby restaurants and bars.
The game has downtown business owners' heads spinning.
"It's a refreshing crowd, a lot of the faces we see just here in the summer," says Pizza Papalis General Manager Aaron Polte. "Glad to have them back."
Polte says sales more than double when the Hens return home each year.
"As far as game day business, it's three, four-fold than we do on regular days," he says. "So it really makes a huge difference on our crowds."
Pizza Papalis is also adding staff to keep up!
"We definitely load up a little bit in the spring, getting ready for the Mud Hens season," Polte says. "Once the full swing of things really gets going this summer, we'll add a few more. Everybody's making money. It's a great atmosphere."
The Swamp Shop at Fifth Third Field was so busy with customers during the game that the shop manager didn't have time to spare to talk to us, a good problem to have!
Finally, at Frickers, the franchise owner and chief operating officer says...Let the games begin!
"It's always nice to see the Mud Hens come back. Sales are better. It's better for business," says Fricker's owner and COO Cris D'Andrea.
It's so much better, in fact, that out of all 19 Fricker's restaurants in the region, none can hold a candle to the one at Fifth Third Field during the summer.
"When the Mud Hens are in town we do really well here," D'Andrea says.
Area charities also got a boost from the game. Proceeds went to Hens and Tigers charities. The Helping Hens Charitable Fund is the team's official charity. It provides financial support to local non-profits that focus on education and development of area youth.
The Tigers foundation also benefitted from the game. The foundation, an affiliate of Illitch Charities, works to enhance the lives of Detroit youngsters through baseball.