The Malik Report
Now that the lockout’s over, the people who really make their living from hockey commerce are ‘back’
by George Malik on 01/17/13 at 09:47 PM ET
The #hockeyisback hashtag is a little condescending given that every hockey league save the NHL has been in action since last September or October, but the lockout's greatest casualties in terms of collateral damage were not owners, players or teams.
The fans bore the brunt of trying to stick with their favorite teams through over half a year's worth of collective bargaining Kabuki theatre, and those who truly could not afford to pay the bills without NHL games being played--those who work at rinks in broadcasting, as ushers, concessions workers, security, janitors, you name it, and the folks who own and work at restaurants, bars, hotels, parking garages and merchandise shops--very literally either did not work ,were laid off, orweren't able to pay the bills due to significant downturns in business.
Bars and restaurants, such as Bookies on Cass Avenue, sweated out the lockout like a double minor penalty.
“Bars are down between 28 percent and 50 percent in beer sales, which is a scary number,” said Bookies owner Jay Lambrecht.
But the downtown establishments are pioneering a grassroots effort to remind fans that Hockeytown never really left.
“We’re going to do some fun specials, 50-cent wings, $2 build-a-burger and $2 beers. Even for people who want to stay and watch the game,” Lambrecht said.
Over at the Anchor Bar, owner Vaughn Derderian, said he’s got a new cook and new specials.
“Special stuff is being worked out for our hockey fans,” he said.
Still, the pressure of successful recovery is on the sticks of the players.
“If they’re winning, people will come out. If they’re losing, we’re going to have to do a lot of promos to get people to come out,” Derderian said.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.