National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum staff announced Wednesday that the 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend won't be happening this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The change is concerning for local business owners. However, some have hope because Cooperstown is such a popular tourist destination.
"We were prepared for this possibility, and we think that this was absolutely the right decision on their part," said Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tara Burke.
The decision to cancel the induction weekend wasn't an easy one. It came down to safety. Baseball Hall of Fame staff are aware of the potential impacts, taking a hit themselves.
"We really are in the same boat in a lot of ways with the businesses in town that are suffering because of changes to visitation," said National Baseball Hall of Fame Communications and Education Vice President Jon Shestakofsky.
Mickey's Place is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The owner, Vincent Russo, said it'll get through this summer, but it's hard to say the fate of others.
"We'll be able to sustain ourselves," Russo said. "Now whether or not every business in the village will have that capability that we might have, I can't really say. It's hard for me to judge. But there's no question, this is going to be a real challenge."
Despite the uncertainty, there is hope. The Cooperstown area is also popular for reasons outside of baseball. There are other attractions.
"The businesses here, they're resilient. They're creative," Burke said. "They'll find ways to work together and drive visitation here when it's safe for people to be visiting."
"We'll lose a couple of our brothers, so to speak, along the way here, but I think the vast majority of the businesses will be around to see the Class of 2020 get enshrined in the Hall in 2021," said Russo.
Russo said his store has ordered some induction weekend products already, but he plans on selling them next year.
Induction weekend is now scheduled for July 23-26, 2021.