The NHL and its players union have come to an agreement that will end the current lockout that threatened the current hockey season. This comes as welcome news to small businesses who were hurt by the loss of revenue, income and business by the four month lockout.
The agreement reached on Sunday will allow either a 48 game or 50 game schedule to be played. While the financial fallout from the lockout has already hurt many small businesses, they are part of a group who are happy to have any hockey played. Arena workers, the hospitality industry and merchandise retailers who rely on the league for their livelihood felt a direct impact this season.
One bartender whose bar is located directly across from a hockey arena said, “I’m excited, I mean January and February are slow seasons so we look forward to having the NHL games so we can pick business up a bit more.”
The Palace Grill, located in the vicinity of the United Center, told the Chicago Tribune they lost at least $75,000 over the past few months, according to owner George Lempreris.
While many businesses are ecstatic over the return of hockey, some lost revenue cannot be recovered, namely lost revenue associated with the NHL’s annual All-Star game, which was scheduled to be held in Columbus, Ohio.
BlackEnterprise.com interviewed Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael B. Coleman during the lockout. His city was slated to host the NHL All-star game, but it was cancelled during the labor dispute. When asked how he plans to make up for the tens of millions of dollars that small businesses loss from the cancellation he said: “Well, I’m disappointed and you can’t make up for it. It was money that was to come that is not going to be here now from tourists and travel.”
C. Daniel Baker