Businesses near Bridgestone Arena feel pinch of NHL lockout

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Nashville, TN, United States (4E Sports) – Some restaurants and businesses around Bridgestone Arena are now feeling the effects of the NHL lockout that has dragged into its 10th week.

“I can’t tell you how much it hurts us,” said Shawn Courtney, owner of the downtown eatery Past Perfect, a block away from the Nashville Predators’ home arena.

“October is usually one of our best months, if not the best month, and this year it wasn’t even close,” he told USA Today.

Courtney said that on days when the Predators play, the restaurant and other businesses around the area are teeming with patrons.

However, businesses around the area have seen their profit cut in half on night when Nashville games are cancelled.

So far, 14 regular-season home games have been cancelled due to the lockout that started in September.

According to a study commissioned and paid for by the team, Predators games have generated $410 million in job creation and spending.

Nashville games, coupled with other arena events such as concerts, pump $91 million a year in spending at retailers and restaurants downtown.

Now, restaurant and bar owners are keeping their fingers crossed that the dispute will end before slower winter months.

The NHL has cancelled 422 regular-season games while the league and the players’ union have been negotiating on a new collective bargaining agreement.

In 2004-05, the entire season was called off due to the lockout.

Meanwhile, Metro government has agreed to provide the team up to $8.6 million a year in subsidies for arena management.

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