WASHINGTON, DC — The National League of Cities joins St. Paul, Minnesota and cities across the nation in calling on National Hockey League (NHL) players and owners to hasten negotiations and end the current lockout before additional games are canceled this season.
There are more than just player salaries at stake. The professional hockey season is vital to the local economies of the 23 U.S. cities that host NHL teams. From St. Paul to Denver, Colorado, communities depend on the NHL season to provide jobs, generate revenues and boost tourism. A further delay in the season is set to have a potentially devastating effect on these areas in what is already a tough economic climate for our nation’s cities and towns.
Communities around the country invest year-round in their hockey teams, devoting time, energy and resources to the franchises, arenas and surrounding neighborhoods. Already this year, hotel managers, concession workers, restaurateurs and small business owners are feeling the effects of the lockout. The City of St. Paul, which hosts the Minnesota Wild, estimates that more than 18,000 people visit the downtown area for each of the regularly scheduled 45 hockey games per year. Canceling games hurts these cities, their workers and their citizens.