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Neighborhood Businesses Struggle As Yankees Home Opener Goes Forward Without Fans

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -Another Major League Baseball game has been put on hold because of the coronavirus.

Friday's St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers game was postponed after two Cardinals players tested positive for the virus.

MLB is hoping to make up the game in a double header on Sunday.

It's the 15th game postponed because of the coronavirus.

While baseball is back in the Bronx for the Yankees home opener, neighborhood businesses say it won't help them.

No fans in the stands means a big loss in sales.

It sure doesn't feel like the first game of the season at Yankee Stadium, CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported.

"This would be so crowded at these times, home opener. You have thousands of people out here coming through you know, stands, hot dogs, all types of things," one person said.

But that's not the case today, given the ongoing pandemic.

"If everyone did what we did, we would have been in a much better place," said Aubrey Pereira.

And there are ongoing concerns. The Yankees themselves had their series against the Phillies postponed this week after Philly played host to the Miami Marlins. During that trip, more than a dozen Miami players tested positive for COVID-19. Because of that, the Yankees upcoming series on the road against the Phillies is now in some doubt.

In the Bronx, the community is still reeling.

"It's not easy times. I'm just getting by. I'm happy that I'm getting by. I guess getting by is now getting ahead," said contractor Joseph Emerick.

He's a few blocks from the stadium, helping to throw together an outdoor dining area for Yankee Tavern, trying to stay optimistic.

"I've been here since 6:30 this morning and I've had at least 10 people say 'I'm coming back for my corned beef and a cold beer, are you going to be here?' And if it rains, I didn't have the tents up yet. I just put the tents up. It's going to be good," he said.

But the fans are not flocking like they normally would. The subway is quiet. Some stores have stayed closed, and the buzz is missing. Still, for Joe Bastone, the owner of Yankee Tavern, opening up is about having some semblance of normal, even if it is financially difficult.

"The first week I was open I did $500-600 in business with a $2,000 pay roll. Figure out what I made," Bastone said.

For him, staying is about much more than just money.

"Yankee Tavern has been there 93 years. I've only been here 56. It's a tradition. I'm trying to go for 100 years, and we're doing the best we can. We want to win a championship this year. We want to bring people back. Let's hope it works out," he said.

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