Columbus is a big loser because the NHL lockout created the cancellation Friday of the All-Star Game in the city, but, at the same time, the lockout puts the Blue Jackets in prime position to choose Nathan MacKinnon, the odds-on favorite to be the first selection in next June's NHL Entry Draft.
The cancellation of the NHL's All-Star Game means a loss of millions to Columbus. According to a 2008 study, the Jackets and Nationwide Arena have generated more than $2-billion in economic activity since the arena doors opened. By this point, they are directly responsible for more than $1-billion in spending by out-of-town visitors — an important figure as it represents "new money" entering downtown. "The impact ripples out from the arena into the surrounding taverns, restaurants, shops and hotels," Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch writes. "Thousands of bartenders, waiters, small-store owners, bellhops, cabbies and so forth are missing hockey a lot more than the fans or, for that matter, the sportswriters. These are people who most accurately gauge the pain of this stupid lockout. It hits them in the refrigerator." A season-losing lockout, though, would allow Columbus to take MacKinnon.
Sat, Nov 24, 2012 11:10:00 AM