The cancellation of the NHL's annual Winter Classic will deal an economic blow to Windsor, according to Mayor Eddie Francis.

He said the city was counting on the game to have an economic impact.

"An event of this nature would've attracted hundred and hundreds of people to our city," he said. "It would've poured in and injected thousands and thousands of dollars into the hospitality-and-tourism industry, by virtue of hotel rooms and restaurants, entertainment sectors."

Some 400,000 people were expected to descend on the region for the New Year's weekend.

Winter Classic ticketholders can get their money back - or hold on to their tickets for a future game.