Baseball fans boost business

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COLUMBIA - Baseball fans brace for a bit of magic that hasn't happened since 1985- a possible "I-70 Showdown."

As both the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals advance to the next round of the MLB playoffs, a friendly rivalry is turning into a big boost for one local business.

"Well it's increased quite a bit, because both teams are in the championship games and that's a big deal," Rally House manager Kristine Neal said. "We could potentially be going into another I-70 series game so there's a lot of excitement, there's a lot of people coming in and shopping our major league baseball."

Neal said the store is having a hard time keeping shelves full as floods of fans shop in preparation for the next round of playoff games.

"Well we're definitely getting a lot of postseason things in and we're getting shipments in daily, of Cardinals and Royals merchandise we just got a nice big shipment of Royals this morning so we're looking a little fuller than we were earlier this week," Neal said.

In fact, according to Neal, the Royals gear is going the fastest.

"I think there are fans who have maybe been in the back burner for a while and of course with all this new excitement with the Royals they're re-energized, they feel like ‘okay I need to come out and support my team,'" Neal said. "But I don't really think it's a bandwagon, I think the Royals fan base are very loyal and from what I'm seeing from people I don't think there's any band-wagoners, I think people are purely excited."

KOMU 8 News reached out to other downtown boutiques in Columbia to see how their business has been affected. Multiple stores only carry a small selection of Cardinals gear and don't plan on adding any merchandise.

Royals fans have a chance to sport their gear as their series against the Baltimore Orioles kicks off Friday evening. The Cardinals take on the San Francisco Giants beginning Saturday night.