KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The Down East Wood Ducks are back at home for the first time after the Texas Rangers announced the sale of the team. That means the organization will eventually move to Spartanburg, S.C.

“I hate it for the community,” said Steve Lovick, owner of Lovick’s Cafe. “I just felt like it was a good pulling tool that Kinston had to bring in families from surrounding counties.”

The baseball team typically brings extra revenue for Kinston businesses. Those business owners say they see more revenue when the Wood Ducks are on the field.

“Customers come in here when they’re in town eating before and after the ballgames,” said Joseph Hargitt, owner of King’s Restaurant. “The ballpark actually spends some money with us. We sell them probably about 200-300 pounds of barbeque every week when they have a home stand.”

Now that the MLB affiliate is leaving Kinston, it’s causing some impacts.

“The biggest impact on us will be the visiting teams always stayed at the Mother Earth Motor Lodge,” Lovick said. “When they’re in town for the week, they walk down during the summer and summer business is usually down, so that kept things at a medium level.”

Kinston city leaders said some type of baseball will still be at Grainger Stadium, possibly a wooden bat league. Some business owners said they’re glad to hear this news, but are worried a league like this might mean fewer people in town.

“My son played in a wooden bat league and when we went to the games, it was mostly parents,” Lovick said. “Sometimes on that kind of ball, they don’t come and stay in town.”

Regardless of which team is playing in Kinston, business owners hope something will keep people coming back.

“I hate it as much as anybody, but the good thing about Kinston is we usually persevere,” Lovick said. “We’ve seen drops, but something always seems to come back.”

The Wood Ducks could move to Spartanburg, S.C. as early as 2025.