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World Series Windfall: Cash, Good Will

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Rangers' first World Series is already raking cash, before the first game is even played in Arlington.

    Randy Ford, owner of J. Gilligan's Bar and Grill in Arlington, had triple his usual weeknight sales Wednesday when a huge crowd came out to watch Game 1 on a huge TV in his parking lot.

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    The lot again hosted an extra crowd Thursday. He had double the normal number of employees on duty, all making money they normally would not see in October.

    Many of his employees are students at the University of Texas at Arlington who shop in Arlington.

    "How do you measure that impact? It's huge," Ford said.

    Bill Crowder, UTA economics professor, estimates each home game will have a direct $7 million impact on the local economy.

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    "Like a pebble being thrown in the pond, the ripples sort of spread out, and that's exactly how the economic impact does work," he said.

    Works at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington prepared Thursday for North Texas' first World Series home game by installing special banners and painting World Series logos in the stadium.

    Stadium manager Rob Matwick said the ballpark is prepared for the crowds.

    "You're using things like restrooms, electrical -- all the things you need to support just normal operation of the building to support your customer," he said. "Kitchens are all at capacity. The suites are at capacity. So it pretty much does tax everything."

    Special concession menus for the World Series include bacon-wrapped hot dogs and brats and portable carts serving Asian wok and Cajun food.

    Crowder said the team will reap benefits from the increased notoriety of being in the World Series.

    "It will also have an economic impact for the spring training, because now there's going to be a lot more excitement about the Rangers and the Giants, who are both Cactus League teams in the Phoenix, Ariz., area," he said.

    But Crowder said the Super Bowl in February may bring an even bigger economic impact because of more out-of-town visitors. But the World Series also provides benefits that can't be measured financially: local pride.

    "I think the bigger benefit besides (the) economic one is just sort of community good feelings that it engenders from everybody pulling in the same direction for awhile here, all rooting for the Rangers," Crowder said.

    Ford said he wants to see the Rangers win the World Series, but win or lose, he's pleased with his immediate financial gain.

    "Never, never, in the 39-year history have we ever done anything like this," he said. "October, late October, baseball in the first part of next week -- it's like a letter from home with money in it."