NHL lockout could cost Raleigh millions in revenue
Posted September 18, 2012
Updated September 19, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Hockey players and fans aren't the only ones on edge over the National Hockey League lockout – the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce says the city stands to lose millions in revenue if the Carolina Hurricanes don't hit the ice this season.
The lockout is especially tough on a mid-sized market like Raleigh, a city where the Hurricanes are its only professional sports franchise, says chamber President and CEO Harvey Schmitt.
Though the labor dispute is only in its first week, Schmitt is remembering the 2004 NHL lockout, when the Canes lost an entire season and millions of dollars.
Without hockey, the city misses out on revenue from ticket sales and concessions, spending at hotels and restaurants near PNC Arena and advertising.
"It can be the lost coverage we get as a market because our brand isn't out there," Schmitt said Tuesday.
More than that, Schmitt says, he and fans like him just miss the game.
"(During the) last lockout, I would stick my head in the freezer just to smell the ice," he said. "I miss the smell of the ice, the sounds of the ice."
As of Tuesday, no games have been canceled and the Canes are scheduled to play a full season. However, season ticket holders were notified this week that tickets won't be mailed until owners and players reach an agreement to end the lockout.