Calgary businesses hope for NHL season boom
Many sports-related businesses in Calgary are gearing up for a boom now that the NHL season is a reality for this year.
Cam Pinkney, with Trib Steakhouse, expects business will pick up, but also says many disappointed fans will hold out because the NHL and players' union did not come to an agreement sooner.
"I think, regardless, there is such a fan base that we'll have them in," Pinkney said. "On the same front, those people who were upset about the hockey, they'll stay away, but I think [in] time they'll be back out."
Kim Heesung, who owns Ed’s Restaurant, is optimistic fans will come out and watch games.
"I think Calgarians are quite strong hockey fans — like we have a fairly hard-core base of regulars who come here for pretty much every game," Heesung said. "I would expect most of them will still come. There is only so much you can do to stay away from something you really love."
Meanwhile, many fans say they’ll watch, even if they are bitter at the 113-day lockout.
"You don't want to support the lockout, what every seven years, but if it happens it happens," said hockey fan Kenny Vigar. "I'm still going to watch my hockey."
Fan Monique Briggs agrees.
"We're hockey fans no matter what — we're loyal to Calgary," said Briggs. "So, like I said, if it is half a season, hey, we'll watch it."
But Mark Vazquez-McKay admits he’s not going to pay as much attention to hockey.
"Probably a lot less now, a lot less. And all the people that they hurt and such — I have a little bit of resentment towards them ... the players and the owners," Vazquez-McKay said.