NLC to NHL: Cities Depend on Hockey Season for Jobs, Revenue

October 15, 2012

By Gregory Minchak

Mayor Chris Coleman of St. Paul, MN, led several city officials from across the country to urge the National Hockey League (NHL) owners and players to come together and quickly resolve the current lockout. Mayor Coleman was joined by Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Washington, DC, Mayor Vincent Gray, and Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown in expressing support or holding events with local business owners to highlight the impact the lockout is having on locally operated businesses.

The National League of Cities joined with the officials in asking cities with an NHL franchise to unite together on October 11th and send a message to the league and the players association about the impact their fight is having on local businesses.

The professional hockey season is vital to the local economies of the 23 US cities that host NHL teams. There are more than just player salaries at stake. Local businesses and their employees suffer during professional sports' season interruptions.

From St. Paul to Denver communities depend on the NHL season to provide jobs, generate revenues and boost tourism. Restaurants, stadium employees and others see lost wages and cities can lose out on valuable revenue.

Denver estimates an economic impact of $31.8 million per season on their downtown economy, while Detroit will lose an estimated $1.9 million in revenue for every game that is not played. A further delay in the season is set to have a potentially devastating effect on these areas in what is already a tough economic climate for the nation's cities and towns.

Communities around the country invest year-round in their hockey teams, devoting time, energy and resources to the franchises, arenas and surrounding neighborhoods. Already this year, hotel managers, concession workers, restaurateurs and small business owners are feeling the effects of the lockout.