LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Both the Red Sox and the Twins hosted spring training games Wednesday, which meant traffic on Daniels Parkway was a mess.
The Sox hosted the Oriels and the Twins took on the Pirates at their stadium just a few minutes down the road.
Baseball fanatics are flooding the stadiums, but area businesses are finding that people aren't just here for baseball, but for the whole experience.
Norman Love opened his chocolate shop, Norman Love Confections, in October of 2001. Back then, he had no idea the Red Sox would be moving into the neighborhood. Now, three years into the Red Sox stay, Love couldn't be more ecstatic...because business is booming!
"On the way in, fans that are parking in the area walk by our business," Love said. "We definitely feel a huge impact in revenues."
They don't just feel it from one stadium, but from two. The Twins definitely draw some fans, but combine that with the cult-like following of the Red Sox and you have some big bucks flowing into the area.
Neal Murtagh, a snowbird, said, "These people are down here having a great time. They're spending money and that's really what keeps us all going, as they say. It keeps your taxes down because they're bringing money in. So, I think it's good." He continued, "(I) don't like it on the roads, but if I stay off the roads it's good."
On days when both teams have a home game, the traffic may be a headache, but the increase in business is not.
"Traffic may be an inconvenience," Love said, "but to a business owner, an influx of 11,000 fans 17 times during spring training, is a treat for us."
Love also said many of the ball fans who stop in his shop take home chocolate for their friends at home along with a baseball souvenir or two.