NHL Lockout Hurting Those Close to ACC
The NHL lockout is hurting some merchants near hockey arenas across the country while some fans spend their money at alternative eating and drinking holes, says a report issued Tuesday.
The report by credit and debit card processor Moneris found that overall spending at venues near arenas in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary has decreased more than 11 per cent from a year ago on a game day.
Drinking establishments are being hit the hardest with business falling nearly 35 per cent.
Restaurants are taking a nearly 11 per cent hit, followed by fast-food outlets which are down almost seven per cent compared to a game day in 2011.
Edmonton fast food outlets are facing the largest impact with business falling 27 percent. Spending near Montreal's Bell Centre is down more than 21 per cent, followed by a 17 per cent drop in business near Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
Merchants away from arenas, however, have been benefiting from the 11-week labour dispute, with spending up 5.4 per cent from a game day in 2011.
``While overall spending at establishments near hockey arenas is down, it would appear that Canadians are simply choosing to stick closer to home,'' said president and CEO Jim Baumgartner.
Molson Coors Brewing Co. has recently noted that the labour dispute has reduced revenues. As a league sponsor, Molson Coors said it will seek financial redress from the NHL once the dispute is resolved.
BMO Nesbitt Burns deputy chief economist Douglas Porter has estimated that a cancelled NHL season would trim just 0.1 per cent from the gross domestic product as people spend their hockey money elsewhere.
The lockout is also hurting lotteries that offer sports betting and provincial governments that earn millions of dollars in lottery profits.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. said its sports revenues have been cut by 12 per cent. Hockey betting generated $72 million, or more than 26 per cent of the $270 million wagered on sports lotteries last fiscal year. The Ontario government receives about 25 to 28 per cent of revenues.
(The Canadian Press)