The Penguins host the New York Islanders this evening in the second game of their best of seven first round playoff series. That means another three-plus million dollars for Pittsburgh’s economy.
“You just knew at the start [of the lockout-shortened NHL season] the Penguins would make the playoffs,” said Craig Davis, CEO of VisitPittsburgh. “Hopefully, they’ll go very, very far because there’s a real significant economic impact to the city when they go that far.”
That impact is $3.2 million per game in the first round of the playoffs according to Davis and includes ticket sales, concessions, hotel rooms, meals and ancillary spending such as souvenir purchases.
And with each playoff series, the games become more profitable for the city “because ticket prices go up as well as the amount of out-of-town people increases and with those out of town people coming in, the mark they leave on the city in terms of economic impact increases as well.”
Davis added that post-season impact is especially important this year because the NHL lockout-shortened season cost the Penguins and the city 17 home games.
“The fortunate thing is they did come back to work in the new year, especially in the month of January as well as February and March and moving on, those are typically slow months for our hotels and our restaurants and having them in town is a real boon to the economy.”
For the sake of the team, its fans and the city, Davis is hoping the Pens advance deep into the playoffs. “It will be a gift to the city when they do play and it will be nothing but revenue coming in.”
After tonight, the next home playoff contest would be Thursday if a game 5 of this series is necessary.