In the wake of the NHL outdoor game coming to TD place in Lansdowne on Dec. 16, 2017, Lansdowne business owners are expressing their excitement towards the economic advantages of this game.
The rival between the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens is expected to bring a lot of people to the area due to the connection the game has with Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations and because it is Ottawa’s first ever outdoor game they have hosted.
Alasdair Grant, the owner of Aroma Espresso Bar in Lansdowne said he is very excited as the game is going to bring a lot of people to the area as it is something new and interesting that doesn’t happen often.
“It is going to have a positive impact and whether it is going to be extremely busy or ludicrously busy we will have to wait and see," said Grant.
Grant said due to the fact the area is so new after it has been revitalized in the last two years, there are some people who just haven’t gone out of their way to come to Lansdowne. However, he said he thinks the city is doing a good job at putting on events to bring people to the area.
“They are certainly trying and they are making good use of the space as far as I can tell,” said Grant. “Amazing events like these encourage people to come out and check out the scene which is great.”
An image of Aroma Espresso Bar which Alasdair Grant owns.
Shannon Webster, a waitress at Sunset Grill in Lansdowne, said they are excited as she believes the event is going to be excellent in drawing especially families to the area.
“At Sunset Grill we stay open later for the Redblacks, Fury and 67’s games so we always find that the restaurant is super busy around those different sporting events," said Webster. "It was also really busy when there were events such as the figure skating and the curling Brier so we are really looking forward to the business it is going to bring.”
Webster said her restaurant always finds there is a bigger draw from Redblacks fans so she is interested to see what will happen when the NHL is involved.
“I think it will definitely be close to or more than what the CFL brings so we will have to wait and see,” said Webster.
An image of the Sunset Grill in Lansdowne where Shannon Webster works.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said this historical hockey game will be a very positive aspect for Lansdowne businesses, because the city is not just planning to put on the main event, but wants to have a week long celebration of hockey in Canada.
“There will be events in and around Lansdowne whether it be at the Aberdeen Pavilion or the Horticulture building or perhaps some events when the ice surface is set up such as an NHL Alumni game,” said Watson.
Watson said with the Juno celebrations he was told that hotels did extremely well and many restaurants told him they had some of their best nights, which he is hoping to replicate with the NHL game.
“Anytime we can animate the Lansdowne area and our public spaces, it brings more people into the community which is a good thing for local shops and restaurants,” said Watson.
Watson highlighted how well the local businesses in Lansdowne did during the Brier Cup and the Davis Cup and said he believes the same will happen with this game.
“I am very much looking forward to us putting on a great show to see history in the making between these two teams that started the NHL 100 years ago,” said Watson.