The Wisconsin Woodchucks played their first home game of the season Friday night, but the team is much more than entertainment.
Business leaders said it plays a big role in the Wausau economy.
"We're getting 14 rooms for like two nights which helps us a lot," Plaza Hotel Sales Executive Jessica Barrett said. And with multiple teams traveling to play the Woodchucks each month, she said the revenue can really add up during a slow time.
"It helps us with our occupancy rate during the week."
Business leaders agree the Woodchucks are a valuable asset to the almost 200 million dollar tourism industry in Marathon County.
"They play over 30 home games and so, you know, they're bringing in a lot of folks. A lot of visiting teams and their family and friends as spectators," Wausau/Central Wisconsin Visitor's Bureau Executive Director Darien Schaefer said.
Also on the rise, the number of fans cheering on the Chucks.
"The money allows us to do better promotions at the park. We have seven fireworks shows this year we have better bobbleheads this year," the team's General Manager Ryan Treu told Newsline 9.
Last year, the Chucks sold more than 60,000 tickets. He said this year ticket sales are up about 14 percent so far and with an average of 1,800 fans per game, that means more people eating, playing and shopping throughout central Wisconsin.
"To have that throughout the summer, you know, provides a great impact for the community," Schaefer said.
The Woodchucks lost their home opener to the Green Bay Bullfrogs 9-0.