NHL lockout hits small businesses hard as more games canceled

NHL lockout hits small businesses hard as more games canceled (Image 1)

Businesses near the Bridgestone Arena said news of further NHL game cancellations will cost them big bucks due to lost business.

More than a third of the NHL regular season and two of its marquee events were canceled on Friday.

Friday was day 69 of the NHL's labor lockout. All games through Dec. 14 were wiped out, and this time All-Star Weekend, scheduled for Jan. 26-27 in Columbus, Ohio, was lost, too.  The New Year's Day outdoor Winter Classic already was scratched.

Food vendor Bill Hall of Dough Joe's Hot Dogs sets up shop near the corner of Second Avenue and Broadway.

The small hot dog business often sells food to Nashville Predators fans before they head to the Bridgestone for home games.

“This time of the year we have less tourism so that helps to offset some of the loss from tourism as well as the change in temperatures,” Hall said. “One of the other things that are also really big is the opposing team.”

Hall pointed to the recent match up between the Tennessee Titans and the Chicago Bears.

“You would have thought it was a home game,” he said.  “They ate us out of house and home.”

As the lock out continues Hall wonders how businesses like his will survive the much slower winter months.

“Very frustrated we have a lot depending on that and unfortunately if they do cancel the season its going to be a major loss of revenue for our businesses,” he said.

At National Underground, located at 105 Broadway #101, bar manager Coy Sterling said the lack of hockey has already taken a toll at the bar.

“It hurts us really bad,” he said. “Numbers wise we have regulars who come in here before every hockey game and we haven't seen them this year.”

The NHL estimates the lockout costs the league $18 to $20 million a day.

Bridgestone Arena officials said they have been looking for ways to book the arena for days that the Predators would have played.

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