Edmonton bars banking on a long Oilers playoff run
'It will get more and more exciting and more and more crowds will come out by the end of it'
After an 11-year NHL playoff drought, Edmonton business owners are ready for the Oilers to deliver a lengthy post-season.
Every win for the team is a win for their chequebooks, explained Jennifer Diep, general manager at Kelly's Pub on 104th Street.
"We definitely would stay a lot busier if we stay in the playoffs," she said.
She watched Tuesday's crushing 7-0 defeat in San Jose with trepidation, Diep added. The longer Edmonton's team stays in the playoffs, the more money fans leave at downtown bars and restaurants.
"We are going to have some bad games but hopefully they stay doing well and that way everyone's more motivated to stay out longer," Diep said.
Traffic at Kelly's Pub increases by about 50 per cent on game nights, hitting the bar's 150-person maximum capacity several hours before the puck drops. Each guest spends about $60 on food and alcohol, Diep said.
That's an additional $3,000 per playoff game. A full seven-game series could bring in an extra $21,000.
If the Oilers make it to the final fight for the cup, Kelly's Pub could make about $84,000 more than without the playoffs.
Those numbers don't change when the Oilers play away-games, Diep said. Fans still want to be part of the action at Edmonton's sports bars.
"It will get more and more exciting and more and more crowds will come out by the end of it," she said. "It will just get busier for us."
Diep and other downtown business owners are guaranteed at least two more games in the series against the Sharks. Game 6 is on Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose.