Not Quite a Home Run

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Bernadette Jackson

Bernadette Jackson sells concessions at Coney Island’s MCU Park. She’s moved millions of hot dogs. But sales are down. At the ballpark, five-dollar dogs seem to be a luxury.

“Things aren’t the way they used to be, as far as people coming out and spending money on hot dogs and hamburgers,” Jackson said. “Last year we had a better going rate. But you know what? It’s not bad. On a scale of one to ten, it’s like a seven.”

The stadium is the home of Brooklyn’s minor-league baseball team, the Cyclones. Blue-collar families are the heart of the team’s fan base. The average ticket price is eight dollars—one-fourth the average cost of admission at Yankee stadium.

But MCU Park is seldom filled to the brim. America’s financial cyclone battered attendance rates. According to a 2009 New York Times story, crowds have grown sparser since the recession struck.

Despite the downturn, Jackson is optimistic.

“I’d say we’re about twenty percent out of this recession,” the Bensonhurst resident says.

“Brooklyn will be back.”

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