In partnership with its parent company Penn National, Barstool Sportsbook is already looking to put back into the community of Pennsylvania by helping rescue Philadelphia’s iconic public market, the Reading Terminal Market.
In other year, the market which has been in operation continuously since 1893 would be full of tourists to Philadelphia spending up big in the market, but not so in 2020. The ongoing effects of the global pandemic have hit the market’s bottom line hard with the tourists having disappeared and usual lucrative evening events hosted there being postponed.
It’s all added up to a recipe for disaster and the dire economic climate led directly to the nonprofit organization that runs Reading to launch an appeal to save the historic market through the use of a GoFundMe campaign. The funds were used in the first instance to power the ventilation and lighting, and of course, keep up the increased cleaning, sanitation and disinfection requirements that go hand-in-hand with a pandemic.
The GoFundMe page was launched on October 7 with a flurry of donations concerned residents worried about losing the well-known market, a hit for generations with its tasty local food. However, its wasn’t quite enough.
“Ultimately what the campaign is about is our ability to operate for the next few months. Because again, there’s just so much uncertainty with COVID, and it’s very unpredictable what’s going to happen,” said Reading General Manager Conor Murphy.
Enter Barstool Sportsbook
Barstool sportsbook has proved a hit with Pennsylvania’s sports bettors in its first few weeks of operation, so much so, that Barstool stepped up through the on-the-ground assistance of Penn National.
On October 22, Barstool Sportsbook founder Dave Portnoy tweeted to announce his plan to help save the iconic landmark after hearing about the story, as Penn National simultaneously announced their assistance to help support the recovery of the market and sustain its operations over the long term. Portnoy even went as far as throwing in $50 000 of his own money.
According to the Penn National media statement;
“For those making a first-time deposit of $100-plus into an account on the recently launched Barstool Sportsbook app, Penn National will match the deposit with a $100 donation to the Reading Terminal Market until it hits its GoFundMe goal of $250K”.
Jay Snowden, Penn National’s President and Chief Executive Officer added;
“We are proud to support this historic institution, one of America’s largest and oldest public markets,” he said. “When Dave Portnoy first suggested the idea, we jumped at the chance to work together to help save this beloved icon in the heart of Philadelphia”, Snowden added.
That $250 000 had reported already been collected in total following the October 23, Thursday night Eagles-Giants NFL game.
Entrepreneur Jeff Bartos with his nonprofit Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund went on the record to state that his organization would also match Penn National’s donations of up to $100 000.
‘El Presidente’, Dave Portnoy is making people sit up and take notice.
Reading Market General Manager overwhelmed by the support
Conor Murphy, Reading Market’s General Manager has reported been ‘humbled’ by the outpouring of support offered by residents and Barstool/Penn National.
“We’re very honored and we’re very thankful to Dave, to Penn Gaming and obviously to the 4,000 people on GoFundMe, as well,” Murphy said. “I think what it does is it provides a lot of hope to all the merchants and the employees, and it also, I think, was a great boost to them. In a city of, you know, of brotherly love and sisterly affection, I think that this is a perfect example of that.”