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Local businesses prepare for Sens

By Julia Lennips [1]and Mike Fleming [2]

BELLEVILLE – Several local bars and restaurants say they are excited about the impact the Belleville Senators [3] will have on their business despite the fact that the games won’t be shown on TV.

“I was in Belleville for eight years and I saw the impact the Belleville Bulls had on the community,” said April Meeks, the local store marketing manager at Shoeless Joe’s.

Meeks says she thinks the Senators will have an even bigger impact than the Bulls did.

She expects a boost in tourism will be good for all businesses, not just Shoeless Joe’s. She says that because of the close proximity of hotels, businesses in the North Front Street area may also benefit from potential increased tourism.

Shoeless Joe’s is a preferred partner with the Sens. It’s calls itself the the headquarters of the Belleville Senators on its website, and the restaurant’s website can be accessed through the Sens’ site.

Montana’s general manager Trish Fry said the business was still deciding what they were doing for the Senators’ opening weekend. Despite this, there is still optimism for Montana’s business.

“We’re hoping it will bring people in after the games, and maybe we’ll have more late night sales,” said Fry.

Boston Pizza General Manager Jeff Bechervaise says that while his business will support the Sens anyway they can, because of the partnership with Shoeless Joe’s they have limited access to the team. 

Businesses will not be able to show Belleville Senators games on their TV’s, as they will not be broadcast on television. The team does have a radio agreement with CJBQ 800 AM for radio broadcasts.

The Belleville Senators kick off their season against the Laval Rocket [4] this weekend. The first home game is November 1 against the Syracuse Crunch [5].