Calgary bar owners hopeful Flames’ playoff push will provide ‘a much-needed boost’

The Calgary Flames have officially punched their ticket to the NHL’s postseason and it comes with high expectations – not just on the ice, but for bars and restaurants looking to capitalize on the team’s quest for the Stanley Cup.

Along 17 Avenue S.W., business owners are hoping to see the Red Mile reignited with a deep playoff run.

“It would definitely make up for some of the pains of COVID,” said Harry Dimitriadis, a co-owner of Jamesons Pub.

“We anticipate it’s going to be very, very busy with people coming out for all the games. We’ve been through this in the past and people just get excited and the energy is just fantastic.”

The Red Mile was the place to go for tens of thousands of Flames fans during the team’s magical run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004. The Flames have won just one playoff series since then.

“This is a much-needed boost for all the restaurants in the Beltline and, quite frankly, all of our neighbourhood pubs in the suburbs,” said Ernie Tsu, the owner of Trolley 5.

“It’s just some much-needed energy and a positive atmosphere that everyone needs right now.”

The deeper the Flames go, the more likely hockey fans from outside of Calgary will come here. That would bring a spending boost to many businesses across the city, primarily hotels, says Dan Mason with the University of Alberta.

He adds that the initial rounds will more likely just bring money to bars a restaurants near the Saddledome.

“What’s happening is you’re having economic activity relocating from other parts of the city,” said Mason, a professor of sport management at the school.

“People of Calgary only have so much money to spend on entertainment and what will happen is that they’ll concentrate it around where the arena is and where the event is being held,” he said.

The Flames’ playoff first round opponent hasn’t yet been set. The Stanley Cup playoffs begin on May 2.

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