Workers at Scotiabank Place are worried that Ottawa's junior hockey team won't bring in enough people to keep business going.


Subroto Das, Pizza Pizza's assistant operations manager for special events, says he has hired about half the staff he normally hires during a regular NHL season. (CBC)

The Ottawa 67s are playing on NHL ice during the lockout while renovations continue at Lansdowne Park.

The team's opening night in their temporary home drew in about 12,000 people, but some of those tickets were handed out for free.

Workers at the stadium said they're expecting a lot less to show up for future games.

'Definitely discouraging,' says Pizza Pizza manager

Subroto Das, an assistant operations manager for Pizza Pizza's special events, says he has hired only half of the part-time staff he hires during a regular NHL season.

He said he has closed six of his 17 concessions stands and he's servicing about half as many suites.

"It's definitely discouraging to see less people working and concessions are closed, but this is something we have to accept," Das said. "There's nothing I can do about it."

He said that on opening night, business dropped by about 20 to 30 per cent. He said future games will be slower, but business might pick up again once the snow starts falling.

Meanwhile, parking lot access has also been cut, along with parking attendant staff.

Longer lockout could hurt economy

"I'm a student at Carleton, so I need the money to keep doing school there," said Taylor Hewitt, a parking attendant. "So it really sucks."

Bert's, a sports bar at the stadium, is usually packed before and after NHL games.

Pares Fotenas has been a cook at the sports bar for four years.

"You don't get as many hours and business, you're not going to make as much money," she said. "It sucks. Everybody here, they had to lay off people. So there's nothing good about that."

University of Ottawa professor Norm O'Reilly is studying the effects of the lockout. If it ends by Christmas, O'Reilly said he doesn't expect the economic impact to stretch further than Scotiabank Place.

But if more of the season is cancelled and less avid hockey fans turn to other sports, he warned that it could affect tourism and the broader local economy.