Edmonton News | Local Breaking | CTV News Edmonton
Playoff announcement brings hope to Edmonton bars, restaurants
EDMONTON -- For many bars and restaurants in Edmonton, the spring of 2017 was one for the books, thanks to the Oilers making the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
The atmosphere is looking much different these days, making the NHL's announcement of a 24-team playoff welcome news.
"Having the NHL back will help inspire our staff and guests to have something to look forward to," said Mo Blayways, Owner of 1ST RND.
Blayways says 1ST RND has taken measures to help maximize the restaurant's space under current public health orders, and is looking forward to getting back to a sense of normalcy.
According to Edmonton Tourism, local bars and restaurants reported an average sales increase of 24 per cent through the first two rounds of the 2017 playoffs, from the year before.
That likely won't be the case this time, as restaurants are currently limited to 50 per cent capacity.
Edmonton's Downtown Business Association says some of the typical benefits from game nights will be lacking for the service industry, with hockey fans not allowed to watch the games from the stands.
"Full hotels, restaurants and bars and what that trickle down effect looks like into ubers and cab rides and retail spending," said Ian O'Donnell from Edmonton's Downtown Business Association.
Mayor Don Iveson says players and staff spending time in Edmonton for a significant stretch would be a great boost to the struggling local economy.
"That will be hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars worth of hotel bills, and at this time whatever cities get it, that will be a boost," said Iveson.
The NHL has not decided on the hub cities yet, O'Donnell hopes just having Oilers playoff games on TV will give a lift to the local establishments, and the city.
"We need to create economic incentives for business to remain open, and certainly a playoff run would be one of them," said O'Donnell.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Joey Slattery