At the Eagle Street Grille today, Mayor Chris Coleman joined business owners, mayors and city leaders whose cities host NHL teams across the nation in calling for the NHL players and owners to return to the bargaining table and end the lockout.
“Our communities invest in our NHL teams, and our local businesses depend on NHL seasons. This is about more than hockey. This is about our small business owners and middle-class workers: restaurateurs, hotel managers, concession workers and people in our cities that need the NHL to make ends meet. It’s about the vitality and economic stability of our communities,” Mayor Coleman said. “The NHL players and owners must return to the bargaining table and negotiate an end to this lockout.”
After canceling the entire preseason, NHL officials announced the cancelation of the first two weeks of hockey’s regular season last Thursday. The Minnesota Wild home opener was originally scheduled for Saturday, October 13.
“This lockout has forced me to make tough decisions about what I can and can’t afford,” Meg Hyland, a server at Eagle Street Grille, said. “I’m now trying to determine if I have the resources to pay for my son and daughter’s winter hockey program. This lockout affects real people and needs to end now.”
An estimated 18,000 people come to downtown for each of the regularly scheduled 45 hockey games per year. Canceling those games has an undeniable impact on downtown Saint Paul’s economy.