Reporting Jon Delano
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The signs are all over the city – the National Hockey League’s annual draft is in Pittsburgh at the CONSOL Energy Center on Friday and Saturday.
Local business leaders expect another boost to the city’s economy.
“This one event – conservative estimate is $9.1 million,” says Jason Fulvi, Visit Pittsburgh’s executive vice president.
Fulvi told KDKA money editor Jon Delano that with young talent and hockey fans coming to town from all over the world, Pittsburgh will get international attention.
“The top two draft picks this year – the first one is from Russia, the second one is from Sweden – so the international eyes will be on Pittsburgh, yet again,” said Fulvi.
Many downtown hotels, like the Cambria Suites next to the CONSOL, are booked.
“We are booked, starting on Wednesday and pretty much through and including the weekend,” says Cambria Suites general manager Mark Herron. “It’s been a great week for us.”
Herron says the hockey draft is attracting all kinds.
“It’s really just absolutely everybody – the president of some major shoe manufacturer is coming in. We have a lot of press people coming in, but we also have a lot of people that are just diehard fans who want to see their people get in on the draft, and also we have a lot of people coming from out of town whose family members are part of the draft,” adds Herron.
With an event like the NHL Draft scheduled for Downtown Pittsburgh, it’s not just the hotels that hope to do well. Some of the traditional restaurants, even in Market Square hope to shoot and score.
Primanti’s with their signature sandwich is expecting big business.
“We get big crowds for the hockey games, as well. So, for an event such as the draft, it should be a good crowd, and who doesn’t like these sandwiches,” adds Mike Mitchum, the general manager of Primanti’s Market Square.