Post-season Tigers, rah!
Delayed-season Red Wings, boo!
But when it comes to bars and restaurants in downtown Detroit, will the diamond compensate for the melting ice?
Business owners near Comerica Park and Joe Louis Arena are confident that the Tigers' extended season will buffer some of the financial losses they anticipate from the NHL lockout.
"We hope the Red Wings are back up and going as soon as the Tigers are done," said Vincent Agius, manager of Big City Bar & Grill on Washington.
He estimated that his establishment will lose 25% of its sales for every Red Wings game canceled -- or as much as 50% for a weekend game. However, he anticipates an 80% increase in sales today, thanks to the Tigers' facing off against the Oakland A's.
"The post season always brings more than the regular season because people are all about the playoffs and the elimination factor," Agius said.
According to Michael O'Callahan, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, a post-season Tigers game means $5 million to $8 million in direct spending -- compared with $1 million to $1.2 million per regular-season game. Red Wings games translate into a $1.5-million to $1.9-million boost for Detroit.
For "the Tigers, I cartwheeled the other night. It's always wonderful to have playoff action and hopefully World Series action in the city," he said, adding that when it comes to hockey, "I'm hoping it gets resolved, and they're able to make those games up."
The Tigers have two post-season games at home against the Oakland A's, today and Sunday, followed by three games on the West Coast on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, which could bring in crowds looking to watch them on big-screen TVs surrounded by the camaraderie of friends and strangers.
Of course, if the Tigers win the series against the A's, there will be more playoff games in Detroit.
The NHL has canceled games through Oct. 24.
"The Tigers, of course, I was thrilled," said Tommy Burelle, owner of Tommy's Detroit Bar and Grill, on Third Street, a few blocks from Joe Louis Arena. "Back to hockey? It was a blow."
He estimated that 40% of his business comes from Red Wings games: "Hockey is definitely our bread and butter."
To counterbalance the blow to his balance sheet, Burelle is ramping up the attention paid to Tigers fans, such as showing away games on the bar's TVs, offering shot specials and working hard to increase its non-sports-related traffic by playing up its lunch business.
"We're going to beating the pavement getting people over. As far as hockey, it's just a waiting game. We have so little control over it," he said. "We will have the NHL channel, so real hard-core people will see hockey. It might be reruns, but at least they'll be able to get their hockey fix."
Contact Zlati Meyer: 313-223-4439 or email@example.com
More Details: The NHL lockout
How many games have been canceled league-wide: 82
What it means for the Red Wings: Games canceled so far: Oct. 12 at Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 16 at Buffalo, N.Y., Oct. 18 at St. Louis, Oct. 20 at Chicago, Oct. 22 at Vancouver, British Columbia, and Oct. 23 at Columbus, Ohio
Economic impact per Red Wings game in Detroit: $1.5 million to $1.9 million
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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