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Saturday, December 29, 2020

buff impact
Until the novelty of playing hockey in a football bowl wears out, it appears the National Hockey League and its teams will have some economic impact numbers to throw around when pitching future Winter Classics:

With four days to go before the puck drops on the outdoor hockey rink in Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Buffalo Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates the New Year’s Day event will generate more than $5 million in direct revenues.

“Our projections tend to be conservative, but based on local hotel reservations, this is going to be a very significant event for Buffalo-area hotels and restaurants,” said the CVB’s Doug Sitler.

If those estimates hold, the Jan. 1 NHL event will top the $4.2 million in spending tied to the multiday slate of NCAA basketball tournament games played in HSBC Arena last March.

Five million bucks is not super-huge when it comes to dedicated major-league sporting events. In comparison, the last Super Bowl was hyped to have generated $298 million for South Florida; even if, as contended, that figure is somewhat inflated, it still points to an entirely different magnitude of dollar volume.

But then, no one is touting the Winter Classic as Super Bowl-caliber. It’s a regular-season game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres that otherwise wouldn’t be worthy of special notice. The venue and date makes it special, and so it’s attracting more visitors and discretionary spending to the Buffalo area. That’s all it needs to do to help the league get exposure.

As long as the NHL restricts these bowl games to once per year, they’ll achieve their purpose, and everyone will be happy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/29/2007 06:19:15 PM
Category: Football, Hockey, SportsBiz
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