More events could follow as Edmonton's NHL bubble dissolves
EDMONTON -- Edmonton’s time as an NHL hub might have been good for its reputation and future as host city, but it wasn’t the financial boost some business owners hoped for.
The two NHL bubbles formed in Edmonton and Toronto at the end of July. The untraditional playoff run had businesses downtown excited at the time.
“To be honest with you, it’s hard to believe it’s two blocks away,” said Scott Krebes, with Kelly’s Pub.
Kelly’s Pub is just down the street from the bubble. Sports fans were around during the final game of the Stanley Cup finals Monday night, but they weren’t watching hockey.
When the Oilers were eliminated from the playoffs in the first week of August, fans that had flocked to bars and restaurants to view the games didn’t come back.
“It definitely hurt us and I know it hurt a lot of businesses in the city,” said Krebes.
The Downtown Business Association (DBA) is looking on the bright side, saying that the success Edmonton had with managing COVID-19 could mean hosting more events in the future.
“I think we’re already hearing about World Junior Championships, we’re already hearing you know (about) what the future could hold with respect to other NHL-style events,” said Nick Lilley with the DBA.
“We have proven Edmonton as a potential hub city or great place to host large-scale initiatives into the future.”
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, was also pleased with the results of the bubble.
“I think that the ability to have a strict bubble that was enforced combined with testing that was done… I think those are all things that worked well.”
Hinshaw echoed the idea that the model designed for the NHL bubble could be used for other events in the future.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Jay Rosove