SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY — The Little League World Series is canceling all public attendance.
The decision came after the CDC released more information about the delta variant being more infectious than previous strains.
Many businesses had been excited for fans to come back this year, but they understand health and safety are what’s most important.
Originally the Little League World Series wasn’t going to have fans at all, then last month they limited it to 3,000 people each day. The president of the Little League announced that only players, coaches, their families, and high-level volunteers and supporters are permitted during the tournament.
“Obviously, there is that economic impact. It is impacting our community.We are not going to see as many people coming in,” Williamsport Lycoming Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jason Fink said.
Fink says this still beats last year when they didn’t have the tournament at all. Now the chamber is making some last-minute changes, like adjusting the visitor booth at the stadium.
“We’ve been looking at various scenarios, just because you have to. When you’re still in a pandemic you have to prepare for every situation,” Fink said.
After surviving the shutdowns, local businesses admit it’s a bit disappointing.
“The less people downtown and the less people that are coming into our downtown, it’s going to hurt. We’re going to miss seeing everybody,” Sprinkled Sweet owner Aimee Hertwig said.
Another business owner says the news wasn’t a surprise, especially because some players aren’t old enough to get the vaccine.
“That’s the first main concern is the children. Will it hurt us as business owners? Yeah, it might, but yet again, we’ll rise up from the ashes which we always do,” Gustonian Gifts owner Barb Miele said.
They all say they’re still looking forward to the games finally returning for the first time since 2019.