NHL Lockout to cost city $3.2 million per game
City businesses that benefit from NHL games are hoping they don't have to spend an entire season in the penalty box while players and owners face off in an indefinite lockout.
Managers and owners of pubs, restaurants and stores that cater to Rangers, Devils and Islanders fans, especially ones near Madison Square Garden say they are watching the indefinite lockout -- which began Sunday -- with great trepidation.
"No matter who [the Rangers] play we get a piece of the action," said Paul Vellios, the owner of Café 31 sports bar on 31st Street. "If there is no action, we get no business."
One Rangers game has a $3.2 million impact on the Big Apple' economy, according to the city's Economic Development Corporation, and if the entire season is canceled, the city will couldmore than $131 million.
The players and owners are feuding over various issues, the biggest being what percentagof NHL's revenue goes to the players. This week, the league cancelled the the preseason schedule through Sept. 30.Manhattan business owners, said the league should be considerate of the outside venues that work symbiotically with the hockey games.
Gail Klein, the owner of Stout, a bar on, on 31st Street, said Rangers faithful pack her bar every game and have been a steadier crowd compared to fans other sports teams which wane when teams are struggling..
"The fans are real loyal," said Klein, who said she too was a Ranger fan. "The pregame is always the busiest time."
Bar owners also noted that they took a big hit last year when half of the NBA season was canceled due to a lockout.
No one is more vocal about their frustration than the Gotham fans themselves. Many said they were eager to see what the area teams had to offer this year, especially since the Rangers and Devils after the conference finals last year.
Die-hard Rangers fan Gabriella Clauss, 37 of Westchester, was at the NHL store in midtown looking to buy her 5-year-old daughter Layeticia a team shirt that to wear to games. But ended up not buying anything.
"Let's see if they play and then we'll decide if we want to buy anything," she said.
Recent work stoppages in pro sports.
NBA 2011 lockout: The five-month ordeal resulted in the loss of 66 games last season, including the Christmas Day games.
NFL 2011 lockout: Unlike their dribbling counterparts, NFL players only missed training camp and a couple of months where they couldn't sign free agents during the 18-week stoppage.
NHL 2004-05 lockout: Due to a season long stoppage, the Stanley Cup was not awarded for the first time in 96 years.
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