Calgary Flames losses hurting sports bars, say owners
Local sports bars losing out this year, despite Monday's shut-out win
The Calgary Flames may have broken their losing streak Monday night, but local sports bars say the team's poor performance is hurting their revenue.
For sports fans, Calgary's Red Mile could be considered the heart of Flames territory. Fans flocked to sports bars on the strip in 2004 when the team made the Stanley Cup final. But without similar success in the years since, it's getting easier for fans to find seats in once-crowded bars.
"Lately it seems to be pretty easy to get a seat on game day," said Kristian Durvin, a Flames fan watching Monday's game at Hudsons Canadian Tap House. "It's a quiet atmosphere where you almost know what the outcome is going to be ahead of time. It hurts."
Hudsons is offering drink and food promotions to try and lure hockey fans back.
However, sales are still down and with the state of the team, it's not clear when they could pick up again.
Sports columnist Bruce Dowbiggin says losing streaks impact more than just the team.
He says they also impact restaurants and supporting industries and suggests owners try to keep their costs to a minimum — and hope General Manager Brian Burke and the Flames know what they're doing.
For restaurant owners, a slow season just means they have more appreciation for the fans who do come in.
"It's looking for sure like obviously we're not going to make the playoffs this year," said Steve Reiter, who runs Hudsons. "It's going to taper down a little bit but there [are] still the die-hard fans that come down all the time, always have their jerseys on."