Nationwide, hockey fans are ecstatic that their favorite sport is back on for a shortened season. Even more excited for the return of the NHL are business owners who rely on game crowds for a large part of their income. While NHL officials and players fight over their paychecks, some people struggle to get by during this strained season.
Whether they are stadium employees, local bar/restaurant owners or merchandize sellers, there are a lot of people that were devastated by the lockout. Some businesses were even forced to lay off workers due to less income.
“The local economies are what get harmed,” said Dan Rascher, the president of the sports-business consulting firm SportsEconomics, in an interview with The Daily Beast. “The places around the [stadium] vicinity are going to have the strongest impact, because a good chunk of people who attend those areas aren’t from the city. They are new groups of people who spend money in areas they wouldn’t spend it in otherwise.”
Drinking establishments are suffering with the business falling at almost 35 percent, as reported by the Canadian Press.
For Boston, Mass., hockey provides a pretty substantial income. An article published by NECN.com said, “the economic impact of an average Bruins home game is estimated between $850,000 and $1 million. Any time you have 17,000-plus fans pouring into an arena, both the neighborhood and the city forfeit the revenue of any event-related purchases. While the economic impact is felt by the city, the real effect is on the small business owners that rely on hockey to bring in patrons.”
Granted, cities still benefit from concerts and special events, but considering how many hockey games are in a season, it’s easy to see why they benefit so much from that income. Also, baseball wouldn’t yet be in season. Football is just about out of season. So hockey season is a vital time for those small business owners– and fans alike– to get excited.