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As Ballparks Prepare To Reopen, Tent Supplier Braun Events Holds Out Hope Other Good Times Will Roll Again Soon

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago baseball fans got the green light this week to attend games in person this season. Are concert goers next? CBS 2 found organizers of at least 18 special events are hoping for the OK from the City of Chicago soon.

Their fate is unclear, just like the schedule of the business owner you're about to meet.

Morning Insider Lauren Victory takes us inside a special events company holding onto hope in Roselle.

It's been a hot minute (well, basically a year) since most of us have seen a giant event tent. They usually mean a good time: fairs, festivals, and concerts.

Bobby Braun, founder of Braun Events, said the last time he's used his 80-foot tents was 2019. Some of his smaller tents got rented in recent months – for a funeral and COVID testing.

CBS 2 watched his skeleton crew inspecting what was used by restaurants that tried outdoor dining in the fall; a little different from the outdoor dining that Braun Events usually books; think large street festivals, county fairs, and town celebrations.

"If you compared '20 to '19, we were down over 72 percent," Braun said.

He hopes to buff out the bad streak this summer, even with Illinois event restrictions.

"2021 has promise," he said.

For the first time, Braun Events took several contracts beyond Illinois' borders.

VICTORY: "What is it about out-of-state events that prohibited you from ever doing them before?"

BRAUN: "Logistics is still a big problem. We still have to try to figure out trucking, hotels, labor."

The headaches are worth it, including Braun's constant inquiries about possible government funding. Any little bit will help to support staff and more.

"Maybe get different equipment, maybe advertise differently; but right now we can't do anything," Braun said.

Except hurry up and wait for the good times to roll again.

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