The lockout could have a big economic impact on San Jose. The average attendance at Sharks home games is more than 17,000 fans – that's how many customers downtown San Jose businesses won't see if the lockout cancels any games.
Word of the National Hockey League lockout spread quickly among downtown San Jose businesses along Santa Clara Street. It wasn't good news. Adam Selvo manages the Britannia Arms. "It's going to affect us negatively. I mean that's a huge percentage of our finances downtown," Selvo said.
Nicki Pierce is a manager of the Los Gatos Brewing Company on Santa Clara Street. She just hired 7 more employees to deal with the crowd she expected when the Sharks begin pre-season place September 26. "They're going to have to hold on and kind of wait it out just like everybody else, but it's going to hurt everybody in the pocket book," Pierce said.
This is the fourth league stoppage since 1992. What businesses dread is that if the lockout lasts as long as it did back in 2004. The entire Shark's season was cancelled. It's the first time a professional sports team lost an entire season, the first time a Stanley Cup wasn't awarded in 93 years. "It looks very similar to 2004. My hopes and I think all the fan hopes is that it's not going to be the same way," Selvo said.
Roger Nguyen of the San Pedro Bistro says a long lockout could be disastrous to his restaurant. "We're looking at probably over 60 percent down," Nguyen said.
Inspector of an NHL lockout has been hanging over the teams for a year. This will be the third to hit a major sports league in 18 months. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly stated, "I think it's fair to say there was no realistic expectation to avoid lockout as of developments on Wednesday and Thursday."
Sports analysts say they don't believe this lockout could last the entire season, but it could cancel a good chunk of games. The National Hockey League Players' Association says informal talks are continuing.