Local Yankee souvenir shop struggles to stay afloat through pandemic
Throughout the pandemic, local businesses have struggled to stay afloat as tourism slowed, and businesses around Yankee Stadium are no stranger to this pain.
Shops around the stadium, including Ballpark Sports, which sells Yankees souvenirs and memorabilia, struggled financially not only from the lack of fans and ballpark goers, but also due to a merchandise licensing issue in 2016 that stretched on for nearly four years.
Yousef Abadi, the manager of the three-generation, family owned shop, says the pandemic dealt an extra blow to the shop in 2020 as they had finally negotiated a deal ramped up on merch, only to be forced to close.
"We suffered a lot, especially throughout the pandemic, you know, and when then they said the season was gonna play and then we had no fans in 2020 ... this was usually one person walk in every hour," Abadi says. "That's how bad it was done in COVID. And we had to open because we had to pay rent. We had to, you know, we wasn't making much, but it was something to help the business."
He says the shop makes sure to sell goods from various companies in order to also help them stay afloat during the pandemic.
And with their family shop, Stadium Souvenirs, now open for over 30 years, Abadi says the shop has not only seen a lot of Yankees history firsthand, but is also a part of it.
"The Yankees is this community, and without this community and the Yankee fans, there is no Yankees," Abadi says. "With all the history, all they won and they achieved, without us and the fans, they wouldn't have done that."