VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A lot of full-time jobs won’t be filled and millions of dollars in lost revenue is what the City of Vancouver estimates is the financial fallout of not being chosen as a hub city by the NHL.
This is based on if it had been chosen and hosted games through to the Stanley Cup Final.
The city says it will now lose out on just more than $19 million in total visitor spending, more than 120 full-time jobs, and more than 15,000 hotel room nights being booked.
Charles Gauthier with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association admits this hurts.
“It’s just disappointing,” he tells NEWS 1130. “We’ll certainly have hockey, it just won’t be the buzz that we’ll have in the city with the NHL being in Vancouver.”
He says being chosen would have brought a much-needed boost to the tourism and hospitality sectors, which have been hard-hit by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vancouver had been the favourite Canadian city to be a hub up until a couple of days ago when the league hit a supposed snag in talks with the province.
B.C.’s government and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry have always maintained quarantine rules wouldn’t be broken for the players.
While he’s disappointed, Gauthier can appreciate how difficult such a situation can be to navigate.
“I’m certain that it’s a difficult decision, and I know that our provincial health officer wasn’t prepared to sacrifice the health and welfare of British Columbians and I can certainly respect that perspective,” he says.
NHL restarting elsewhere still beneficial
Even though Vancouver is no longer in the running for a hub city selection, Gauthier says the resumption of hockey elsewhere will still have a positive impact on the city’s economy.
That’s mostly because many of us are craving to see sports make a comeback, he notes.
“It will benefit the restaurants and pubs that have television screens and are able to broadcast the games,” he adds. “It’ll bring people together to watch live sports. Certainly they need that boost.”
Gauthier says there has been a bit of a “bounce back” among the city’s businesses in recent weeks, with more restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops reopening after months-long closures.