According to Pat Moscaritolo, president of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the ongoing battle off the ice between the NHL and the league’s players association over contract negotiations, which expired on Sept. 15, could lead to the Hub losing up to $850,000 per game in local revenue that is usually brought in by the boys in black and gold.
“The industries and businesses that are impacted and feel this loss are the restaurants, the sports bars, the hotels,” said Moscaritolo.
Moscaritolo said the spending impact, defined as the money that is lost to the regional economy by the cancellation of a game, could reach $850,000 in the months of October, November and December.
If the lockout continues beyond that, he said the losses could reach as much as $1 million per home game.
“We average it out that roughly it’s 17,500 seats at [the] TD Garden and so it averages to around $50 [spent] per person, per game” he said. “It’s all revenue that is lost. It does have impacts.”
The regular season is supposed to begin on Oct. 11, but according to ESPN.com, there is no immediate end to the negotiation battle in sight.
This is the NHL’s fourth lock out since 1992.
“Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the [NHL] has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock,” the league wrote in a statement to fans on Sunday.
Hockey representatives said they are committed to getting “the puck dropped as soon as possible” for the game, and most of all, the fans.
In the meantime, bar owners like Pete Colton, who runs The Fours on Canal Street, located near TD Garden, have to bear the brunt of the lockout by losing Bruins customers.
“It impacts us greatly,” said Colton. “The neighborhood we are in, the [TD Garden] is the anchor. For us and a lot of others—we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that building.”
Colton said his business, and employees, rely on the 84 home games between the Bruins and the Celtics to make big bucks.
“When you start cutting into that amount, you can’t replace it,” he said. “No one is getting in as many hours, and we can’t bring on our new staff. Everyone expects this as the time to make money, and it might not happen.”
Unfortunately, the pinch from a sports lockout is something Colton has dealt with in the past.
“You wing it,” he said. “We have never lost a whole season, just portions of them, but you know, it just stinks. It cuts into so much. You make it by. But it’s just not good.”
The ongoing negotiations won’t just leave fans and local businesses in the penalty box. Moscaritolo said the loss in revenue can have a ripple effect on the rest of the state, too.
“This is our prime tourism season,” he said. “We will still have business, and there will still be people in restaurants, but as we turn the corner, [February] is our slowest season.”