Local businesses feel impact of ‘Royal fever’

Apparel shops, including Aggieville's Threads, Aggieville bars and other Manhattan businesses are reaping the benefits of the Royals fever that has been sweeping the nation during the Kansas City Royals' eight straight postseason wins and World Series berth in their first postseason since they won the 1985 World Series. The Royals open the World Series against the San Fransisco Giants tonight at 7:07 pm at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

According to a non-scientific poll conducted by ESPN SportsNation, 70 percent of those who took the survey believe the Kansas City Royals will win the World Series. Every single state, excluding California and Nevada (which sit at 50 percent each), is in the majority mindset that the Royals will achieve victory.

According to the poll, 94 percent of Kansans are rooting for the team to win.

With the majority of the country fueling the fire behind the Royals, it’s no surprise that the recent success of the team has had a positive impact on businesses in Manhattan.

Stepping into a sports bar like Kite’s Bar and Grill when a Royals game is playing, patrons will experience a scene similar to if a K-State football game was playing. However, the colors royal blue and gray dominate the scene instead of the usual sea of purple.

Aaron Schmitz, manager at Kite’s, said that the bar sees traffic much like what they would have during a K-State game.

“It’s definitely similar,” Schmitz said. “We’ll usually be full about 30 minutes before (the game is) up until it’s over.”

According to Matt Roenigk, bartender at Porter’s Bar, the establishment also saw an influx of Royal’s fans during the ALCS games.

“During game night(s), it’s packed in here,” Roenigk said. “We get a lot of regulars in to watch the game and it’s usually pretty busy. It’s a consistent crowd, but not quite as large as a (K-State football) home game. Everybody’s just really excited to be here.”

Roenigk also said that he thinks the bar will be more packed than ever during the World Series games, which begin at 7 p.m. tonight at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

The first two games of the series are hosted at Kauffman before the two teams will travel to AT&T; Park in San Francisco for Games 3, 4 and 5. If it isn’t settled in the Bay Area, they’ll return to Kansas City for Games 6 and 7.

Another portion of Manhattan businesses that have benefited from the Royals’ success are sporting goods and apparel stores. It’s not uncommon to walk into stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and see large amounts of Royals merchandise stationed directly at the entrance of the business.

Thread, a store specializing in custom design t-shirts, has also seen an increase in demand for Royals-related prints.

“We’ve come up with shirts we’ve designed to sell, and we’ve had a lot of customers design their own (Royals shirts),” Ashley Gillihan, senior in mass communications and t-shirt designer at Thread said. “Royals shirts have been the most popular lately. First it was K-State shirts, but now Royals (shirts) have become more popular. Royal colors, like the royal blue and gray, have also been our bestsellers in shirt colors lately.”

According to Gillihan, some of the most popular Royals shirt designs include sayings such as, “reclaim the crown.”

With the World Series being a best of seven series, businesses will look to capitalize on the “Royal fever” through at least Saturday night.