- May 20, 2020
By Scott Lowery While the news media accounts of the Little League World Series sent around the world, each August carry the dateline Williamsport, PA; as all the locals know since the late 1950s, it is South Williamsport that calls the Series home. As the Borough Manager & Public Safety Director of the host community,
By Scott Lowery
While the news media accounts of the Little League World Series sent around the world, each August carry the dateline Williamsport, PA; as all the locals know since the late 1950s, it is South Williamsport that calls the Series home. As the Borough Manager & Public Safety Director of the host community, Steve Cappelli understands Little League’s decision to cancel this year’s World Series but will miss the August infusion of visitors.
“Obviously I had kept in fairly close contact with Little League over the past several months,” Cappelli related. “We were all under the assumption that if we didn’t have a whole understanding of the various pandemic requirements by early in May, logistically speaking, it wasn’t going to be possible for Little League to conduct the various tournaments leading up to the World Series. That proved to be the case leading to the decision to cancel the World Series.
“As we have done in previous years, we had already held a few pre-World Series planning and security meetings. Additionally, plans were underway to conduct a mass casualty event at Lamade Stadium this month that we have since cancelled. We all realized that we were approaching a make-or-break deadline to have the Series proceed, but that just wasn’t possible.
“We don’t levy any business taxes here in the Borough so that won’t have a direct effect on revenue. However, a lot of citizens take advantage of the opportunity to rent out parking spaces on their properties, so, unfortunately, many of them will lose out. From an accounting standpoint each year, we begin our planning the week after the Series ends. So, we are always prepared well in advance, and Little League partners with us tremendously well in managing our costs to provide the needed round-the-clock security. Obviously, we aren’t going to have any folks here to frequent our businesses, restaurants, and retail shops, which are always highly patronized during the Series. They will certainly feel the effect.
“Across the river, there will be a huge impact on the hotels, and the entire tourism sector of the economy is going to experience a disappointing August this year.”
Asked what he will miss most in the Series absence, Cappelli was quick to respond.
“The spotlight of the world being on us for ten days, the wonderful people from around the globe that come here and get a chance to experience the greater Williamsport area and our Borough. The kids, the teams, the players, the families — it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those kids and their families, and this year it won’t happen. It is unprecedented and historical in nature, and there is no upside to this at all.”