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January 14, 2019

Bob Seger farewell concert drew thousands to downtown Toledo bringing big economic boom for local restaurants

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – Downtown was buzzing with activity Wednesday night. A few special events drew thousands. Those kind of crowds are rare during the work week, and all of the extra foot traffic is a bonus for local restaurants.

Downtown was full of people of all ages Wednesday. Some from Toledo, others traveled from out of state.

Music was the main attraction. There were two very different style performances: a rock and roll concert by a legendary performer and a classical ballet.

The Adams Street Cafe is a spot downtown that typically closes at 4 PM. But Wednesday, they stayed open late for the first time in order to accommodate the extra people who normally wouldn’t be downtown on a weeknight.

The Huntington Center was packed with Bob Seger fans and others enjoyed the Russian Ballet Cinderella performance at the Valentine Theatre.

“Just seemed like a good opportunity to get some new customers in here,” said the owner John Kerstetter.

This is Bob Seger’s seventh performance at the Huntington Center. 8,000 people packed the arena. Every seat was sold. More than 56,000 tickets combined for all seven shows over the years.

“He’s been touring Toledo for 40 years so this a big deal for our market. He doesn’t have to play our market, he could make a lot more money in a lot bigger markets, but he’s always kept Toledo in his heart and we appreciate that,” said Steve Miller, General Manager at the Huntington Center.

Big stars lead to more feet on Toledo streets, which is good for the local economy.

“This is what we’re here for. The Huntington Center is here to be an economic engine for people to come and enjoy themselves and for the restaurants and the bars and everybody to make their fair share. We really appreciate their support for what they do and we think having these shows just makes it a great situation for everyone in downtown Toledo,” said Miller.

In total, about 10,000 people came downtown Wednesday. The owner of the Adams Street Cafe told 13abc about a dozen people came in during the later hours, and that’s enough to make him want to do it again the next time there’s a big downtown event drawing a crowd.

THE COMMUNITY