Nanaimo businesses benefit from Blue Jays’ success

NANAIMO – The Toronto Blue Jays reached the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

The Toronto Blue Jays first post-season appearance in more than two decades has won over some fans in the Harbour City.

The Blue Jays, who are Canada’s only team in Major League Baseball, reached the post-season for the first time in 22 years earlier this month. The team’s last post-season appearance was in 1993, the year it last won the World Series.At Nanaimo sports apparel store, Game On Sports, anything related to the Blue Jays has been flying off the shelves since the playoffs began.

“We’ve seen a huge boom in sales, to the point where, at times, we can’t keep a jersey in the store,” said store manager Liam Glaim. “We have seen a huge increase in the Jays apparel being sold to the point where we still have to keep an upfront section for it.”

Glaim said men’s, women’s and kids’ apparel as well as hats and novelty items have been selling extremely well and that anything with third basemen Josh Donaldson’s name on it doesn’t stay on the shelf for very long.

“He’s definitely the most sought after player and item in the store,” Glaim said. “You can’t keep his stuff in the store for more than a day.”

During the regular season Toronto acquired pitcher David Price and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in a series of trades and merchandise sales have been increasing steadily ever since, according to Glaim.

“That was the turning point,” Glaim said. “That was where we were starting to notice the excitement increase and more and more people come into the store specifically asking for Blue Jays stuff.”The city’s bars and pubs have also benefited from the Blue Jays’ recent success.

Carlos O’Bryan’s owner Elaine Nelson-Hosak said there has been an increase in customers since the playoffs began and that people are on Blue Jays’ bandwagon.

“They are coming in with their hats and wearing their shirts,” she said. “They are definitely on the bandwagon.”

With Major League Baseball’s playoff scheduling, some of the Blue Jays playoff games have started in the early afternoon, which Nelson-Hosak said has actually benefited them.

“If anything it is actually bringing people out,” she said.

The Blue Jays currently trail the Kansas City Royals three games to one in a best of seven series.

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