ST. PAUL, Minn. - A lengthy NHL lockout would likely effect the bars and restaurants in the shadows of the Xcel Energy Center.
"There goes the extra income," says Duane French, a bartender at the Eagle Street Grille on West 7th. "We're usually packed with wall to wall people when there's a game, but that will change."
The NHL is locking out its players again after the owners and players failed to negotiate a new collective bargaining deal Saturday. The old contract expired on Sunday, setting in motion the third work stoppage in pro sports in 18 months.
"If this continues that's 30 percent of our business," said former player Tom Reid, now a restaurant owner near the arena. "That's a big hit for all of us down here."
Tom Reid's Hockey Pub beefs up their staff to 35 employees when the Minnesota Wild play a home game, but no hockey means less shifts.
"We remember the 2004-2005 lockout and it wasn't good," says Reid. "We're hoping they can come to an agreement very soon."
At issue, is how to split 3.3 billion dollars in revenue. Players currently receive 57 percent, but owners are looking to bring that number down as far as 47 percent.
The season is expected to begin on October 11.
The Minnesota Wild released the following statement to its fans Sunday morning:
"We appreciate the continued support of our fans, business partners, community partners and employees as we work through the challenges caused by the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and potential delay in the start of this most promising season. At the same time, we support the League's position and trust our NHL negotiating team is looking out for the long-term interests of the game. Even as NHL games may be missed, the Wild will continue to support the great sport of hockey at all levels through our grass roots partnerships with amateur hockey associations."
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