Impending NHL Lockout Would Hurt St. Paul Businesses

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Just 10 days remain before the deadline of the NHL lockout and right now, no new talks are scheduled.

That has a lot of people worried, especially after ticket sales continue to surge in the aftermath of the blockbuster signing of stars Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. The Wild has sold 4,000 season tickets since the signing.

A lockout could be devastating for some businesses. The 2004-05 lockout was the worst case scenario as the entire NHL season was lost.

But even if the lockout lasts for a short period of time, the impact will be painful. The first home preseason game is Sept. 26, and the first regular season home game is Oct. 13.

“We have had a great summer; great momentum building,” said Wild COO Matt Majka. “A work stoppage would not take effect until the 15th of September, so we are still hopeful.”

For businesses that rely on pre-game and post-game traffic, there’s is a potentially big blow to their bottom line.

“We can potentially double our usual profits on a Wild night,” said Carolynn Anderson of Dunn Brothers Coffee. “It definitely would hurt our business.”

The Dunn Brothers on West Seventh counts on hockey fans, and perhaps no business is more of a draw for Wild fans than Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub.

“It affects all of us down the street here on West Seventh Street,” Reid said.

Reid says the 42 Wild home games account for more than 30 percent of his annual business.

Also, the St. Paul Hotel manager said not only will its restaurants lose business, but visiting teams often book 30 to 50 rooms when they play the Wild.

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