NHL tentative deal causes fan, business commotion
Published Sunday, January 6, 2013 7:20PM PST
Last Updated Sunday, January 6, 2013 7:22PM PST
After months of negotiations and a locked out season, the NHL and Players' Association have reached a tentative deal, causing a commotion amongst the fan base.
The deal was announced by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman Sunday after a 16-hour bargaining marathon. Details of the deal include a 50-50 split in revenue, a new salary cap, and an agreement on pensions.
“It's the best deal that you can get, and we get to play hockey again,” said Phoenix Coyotes’ captain Shane Doan. “That’s probably the bottom line.”
The agreement still needs to be ratified before it’s a done-deal, but fans erupted immediately on social media hearing even tentative news. “Relieved because I was so fed up of waiting to see if hockey is going to be back now that I can watch my Canucks play at last,” said Melissa Werth on Facebook.
But not all fans are happy with the months it took to reach the deal. Richard Papp commented on Facebook that he’s one fan who’s boycotting the NHL.
“I really could care less if the NHL was back or not,” said Papp. “The owners are greedy just as much as the players are. Hockey is not hockey anymore.”
If the lure of the game isn’t enough to get the fan base watching again, the chance for lower ticket prices might.
Kingsley Bailey with Vancouver Ticket Services said with hockey tickets, if there is interest, there is demand, but the good news for fans is the converse is true as well.
“If there’s resistance, like I have seen and read… prices could be really reasonable this year," said Bailey.
Businesses are hoping for some financial boosts from the announcement of the season. Charles Gauthier from the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association said hockey might help get people back downtown during the slow January and February business season.
"After that Christmas shopping spree, people don't tend to want to spend a lot of money in that first month and a half to pay the bills," said Gauthier.
Tim Murphy, manager of the Shark Club, is one business owner who has felt the pinch. He said revenue at his business was down an estimated 20 per cent throughout the lockout.
But whether the fans will be in the arena, at restaurants, or boycotting at home, the puck could drop for all NHL teams within two weeks for a 48 to 50 game season.
With files from CTV British Columbia’s St. John Alexander, Penny Daflos, and Scott Hurst