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In Minneapolis, World Series Isn’t a Boon to Everyone

October 17, 1991

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Sure, the World Series will be a boon for hotel owners, restaurateurs and T-shirt merchants.

The fall baseball classic that opens here Saturday also is expected to mean a temporary respite from crime and divorce, but may prove tough on nightclub and theater owners.

″It’s going to kill us,″ said Steve Antenucci, executive director of Theater in the Round Players, a small theater near the Metrodome, where the American League champion Minnesota Twins play.

When the Twins were last in the World Series in 1987, attendance for the Theatre in the Round’s presentation of Tennessee Williams’ ″Summer and Smoke″ dropped by 30 percent, Antenucci said. Such losses, he said, have a long-term effect on small theaters.

″We go from struggling mildly to struggling badly,″ Antenucci said.

While interest in the Twins probably will hurt theaters and other entertainment establishments, it is expected to benefit some Minnesotans.

St. Paul police said the number of complaints received during the 1987 Series dipped significantly during that two-week period.

″People really were preoccupied with the games,″ said police spokesman Paul Adelmann. ″We feel that the Series had a positive impact on the crime scene.″

The Series also was bad news for divorce lawyers.

Calls to the Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance office for family law services dropped dramatically during October 1987, said Jerry Lane, the organization’s executive director.

Some offices reported that their calls were down 50 percent, said Mary Lahr Schier, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota State Bar.

″Who wants to bring up something unpleasant when the Twins are doing so well?″ she said.

But the exhilaration over the Twins probably didn’t heal any deep marital rifts over the long term.

″That euphoria just brought people a little holiday from domestic stress,″ Lane said. ″After a while things go back to the bad old days.″

Theater owners, meanwhile, are hoping for a four-game sweep so they won’t lose a second weekend to Twins fever.

The Ordway Music Theatre already is suffering from the Twins’ success. The theater was only 80 percent full for a jazz concert that usually sells out but was scheduled for the same day as the American League playoff opener, said Mike Brand, the Ordway’s vice president of programming and marketing.

Making matters worse, Brand said, 60 percent of its ticket buyers also are Twins season-ticket holders. The Ordway tried to keep everyone happy in 1987, posting the score of the game and providing radios at the bar.

Steve McClellan, general manager at the First Avenue club, made famous in rock star Prince’s movie ″Purple Rain,″ said he expects to have fewer patrons during the games but a few more out-of-town visitors afterward.

″During the Series it depletes attendance everywhere for everything,″ he said.

Dr. Zigrids Stelmachers, director of the Crisis Intervention Center in Minneapolis, opined that he might see more people after the Series.

″There’s always a letdown afterward,″ he said. ″Some people go into withdrawal because they’ve lost a form of entertainment they had come to depend upon. They go into a mild, non-clinical depression.″

Of course, if the Twins lose the World Series, their fans may be more than mildly depressed.

″We certainly hope this World Series doesn’t make them that way,″ he said.

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