BOSTON — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says teams and players still have “got to dot a lot of I’s and cross a lot of T’s,” but businesses around the TD Garden are getting excited for hockey’s potential return.
According to the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, businesses near the Garden lose as much as $1 million for every canceled Bruins game.
Bureau CEO Pat Moscaritolo says the losses have added up to about $12 million so far.
“A local who comes into Boston, say for a day trip, basically is spending around $90,” Moscaritolo said. “And somebody who’s coming in from outside of 50 miles is spending about $185.”
That adds up to a lot of lost revenue for local business owners like Smitty Patel, who owns North Station Liquors, across the street from the Garden. He says business is down at least 10 percent because of the lockout.
“Basketball people don’t spend. Hockey people come all the way from Canada, from New York, from everywhere here,” Patel said. “They spend money here, not just my business, everybody, everywhere. Hockey fans spend a lot of money.”
Chris Fox, assistant general manager of The Greatest Bar on Friend Street, says his business has also been suffering.
“Our bartenders and waitresses currently have two to three shifts a week,” Fox said. “Now if you bring the Bruins back, it bumps everyone from two to three shifts a week up to four to five shifts a week. And when you’re making a couple hundred dollars a shift, that makes a lot.”
Fox is hopeful the NHL and its players will agree to the tentative deal.
“We see much more consistent regulars coming in here all the time for Bruins fans. Literally, they love our staff and they like coming in here, and they will literally camp out here day and night,” Fox said. “They’re creatures of habit, basically, hockey fans.”
Still, Fox says he won’t increase staffing until tickets for Bruins games go on sale again.