Return of NHL a boon to local businesses
With the imminent return of NHL hockey expected later this month, local businesses are rejoicing at the prospect of increased sales as hockey fans return to their establishments.
"Oh goodness, it'll be fantastic," said Marie Rose, manager of The Landing Pub and Grill in Ladner.
She said business has taken a hit at the local pub with no hockey on the television.
"We've noticed it was a lot quieter for the past few months," she said. "But we're expecting it to pick up with hockey back."
Like many pubs, The Landing normally promotes food and drink specials around game nights to bring in customers, and even organizes a bus trip to Rogers Arena for 50 to 60 patrons to watch the game live, once or twice a year.
"I don't think we'll have time to put that together this year," she said of the annual bus trip.
Players and owners were able to tentatively agree this week on a long-term deal that would guarantee labour peace until 2020. The new contract was ratified by the NHL's Board of Governors on Wednesday, will players expected to ratify the vote this Saturday.
The regular season could begin as soon as next week.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman apologized to fans on Wednesday for the lockout.
"I know that an explanation or an apology will not erase the hard feelings that have built up over the past few months, but I owe you an apology nevertheless," he said at news conference in New York City.
The lockout was the NHL's fourth work stoppage since 1992.