Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

December 17, 2012

BARS HURT BY NHL LOCKOUT

As football fades, fans want NHL games

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — In mid-December, when the Buffalo Bills are out of the picture, sports fans’ eyes turn to the Buffalo Sabres.

Not this year. The NHL lockout leaves local bars thin on television alternatives and thin on customers, particularly during the week. Attitudes, Mr. Quiggleys and Josie’s on the west end noted the difference.

“It’s definitely affected us business wise,” said Bob Soemann of Attitudes. “People would come out three times a week to watch a hockey game.”

Fans would have fun in a friendly atmosphere.

Russ Ferchen used to come all the time. “Attitudes is a great place to watch games,” he said. “I’m hoping they get back quick. The Bills aren’t doing too good. We need the Sabres. I want them back. I want them back.”

Art Currie once had season tickets to the Bills and the Sabres and had adventurous Sundays, going to the Bills matinees at 1 p.m. and then to the Sabres’ opening faceoff at 7 p.m. 

The lockout is irksome. “It’s all about money and in the long run, who’s going to wind up paying for it?” he asked, without looking for an answer. “There’s a lot of greed involved.” 

“I think it’s bull,” Tanya Poss offered. “I don’t think it’s ever going to end, people are greedy.” 

Stu Caswell, who usually watches the Sabres from home, said, “It’s a bunch of rich owners against the players. The owners always think they have it over them, but I think the owners will cave eventually. If the players can hold out a couple years, they’ll win.” 

• At Mr. Quiggley’s, the Dead Dog Saloon, there’s been a definite drop in business, but several sports fans have found alternatives to hockey.

 “Any kind of sport brings any kind of business into any kind of bar — especially a winning one,” said Nancy Carrier. “There’s girls softball, Olympics, volleyball, curling! Oh my God. I’m amazed they’re watching curling.”

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