Rangers, Knicks playoff games mean millions for city businesses
New York City has a lot more than hometown pride on the line with the Knicks and Rangers in the playoffs -- each game means millions in extra revenue for local businesses.
So far this year, the Rangers have brought in nearly $17.5 million for the city during each home playoff game against the Senators -- about $5.8 million each game, according to an analysis by the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The Knicks’ first home playoff game next week will bring in just under $11 million. If both teams play the maximum number of games each round and make it to the finals, that could mean an extra $224 million for city businesses.
Andrew Rigie of the New York State Restaurant Association said eateries feel the economic impact of local teams’ successful seasons.
“Having the Knicks and Rangers in the playoffs is great for fans and for restaurant and bar sales” he said.
“We definitely notice it,” said Fred Parent, a manager at Lucy’s Cantina Royale, located right outside Madison Square Garden.
Whenever there's a playoff game, extra staff is called in to handle the inevitable crush of fans looking for food or a drink before the game, Parent added. “If you walk in, you can tell by the jerseys.”
Madison Square Garden — home to both the Knicks and Rangers — is set to rake in cash from ticket sales, team merchandise, snacks and sponsors. A spokeswoman for Madison Square Garden did not comment last night on how much it expected to make this year.
Mark Carfi, a manager at Kabooz’s Bar & Grill in Penn Station, said he’s seen an increase in blue-collar Knicks fans all season, and expects that to continue throughout the playoffs. He’s also betting on the Knicks to do well, saying, “they’re gonna be underrated.”
And even though the Rangers are down 3-2 in their best-of-seven series and face an unexpected early exit, Carfi says, “We expect a deep run for the Rangers ... They’re the best team in the league.”
Matt Simmons, of the Lower East Side, said he’s always been a basketball fan, but this was the first year he’s been closely following the Rangers.
“I definitely think there’s a bigger buzz,” Simmons, 28, said of the Rangers. “They’re having a great year and people are really noticing them.”
(with Michael Cuniff)
The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, Rangers, MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns amNewYork.