Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at Game 4 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston
Across Canada and the United States, the NHL lockout has affected many people whose personal income or business' revenue are hurt when games aren't being played.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, commented on the work stoppage this week with TVA Sports (via The Toronto Sun):
"For the NHL, this is a dangerous situation," he said in an interview Tuesday with TVA's Pierre Bruneau. "It's sad to see the relationship so broken."
Harper said at the end of the day, the NHL is a business and repeat lockouts will only alienate fans.
Even though politicians such as Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama have more important issues to focus on than sports topics—such as the lockout—the NHL's situation is not helping each leader's economy, both of which could be stronger.
There are so many businesses and state/province services that are being hurt by the lockout, including restaurants and bars around the stadium, subway and bus services, people who run parking lots, vendors who sell merchandise outside the stadium and sports apparel stores where hockey merchandise represents a lot of their inventory and isn't being sold in the most important time of the retail season.
Having a business located near an NHL arena can be very beneficial because of the potential customers these games bring to the area. Last season, 25 out of 30 teams had an average attendance of over 15,000 people, according to ESPN.
There's a strong possibility that many of those people are not going to the area of the city where the arena is located due to the lack of NHL games, especially in cities where the NHL team doesn't share its building with an NBA franchise. The Toronto Maple Leafs are the only Canadian NHL franchise that shares an arena with an NBA team.
In Canada, the lockout's effect on local economies could be substantial if the entire season is canceled. All seven of the Canadian franchises had an average attendance percentage of 100 percent last season, despite the fact that only two of these teams made the playoffs.
The support for Canadian teams is remarkable, but there's no question that the lack of games results in less people coming to the areas in which NHL arenas are located.
Do you travel to the area where your local NHL team plays often during the lockout?
Businesses—both large and small—that need NHL games to showcase their product(s) during the holiday season through marketing tools such as television commercials and on-ice logos are also being affected by the work stoppage.
As the holiday season ends, there are many people who have been hurt financially because of the lockout and the greed that is causing it to last far longer than it should.
Both sides say they care about the fans and the people associated with the game, but if that were really the case, a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) would have been reached a long time ago.