Reporting John Shumway
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh, like every professional hockey town, is waiting to hear from the National Hockey League office.
The next wave of game cancellations is expected soon as the lockout passes Commissioner Gary Bettman’s deadline of an agreement by Thursday.
Bettman says an agreement was needed “in order to have a one-week training camp and open the season on the 2nd.”
But with no agreement, Bettman says, “We’re not in a position to have an 82-game regular season.”
That means canceled games and lots of lost revenue for Pittsburgh.
Visit Pittsburgh’s Craig Davis says, “For every game not played in Pittsburgh, that’s a loss of $2.2 million to the local economy and that can really add up.”
Davis says a lot of that money comes from fans of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin who come into town from points north.
“Torontonians come down in masses; Canadians come down in masses to attend the hockey games,” he says. “Just sit outside at the Marriott and have a drink and watch the buses, all the buses are from Canada.”
So far, the Penguins have lost three preseason home games and four regular season games for a total of $15.2 million.
There had been hopes some of that revenue would be made up when the games were rescheduled, but with Thursday’s deadline passing, Bettman says they won’t have time to make up all the games.
Bettman says a tough situation is getting even worse with each game the league won’t be able to make up because the league is still waiting for a response to its last offer.
The commissioner says, “That offer was contingent on playing an 82-game schedule, and so in some respects, it may get more difficult.”
The Penguins next home game subject to cancellation comes Nov. 10 against Edmonton.