Businesses in downtown Nashville are bracing for another blow.
There's word the National Hockey League will likely cancel the rest of its games in December after contract negotiations failed this week. And there's no word on when or if they'll resume.
Megan Caldwell used to look forward to game nights at Bailey's Sports Bar on Broadway.
"Whenever the Preds were here you could easily walk out of here $150, $175 just from the Preds rush before the games," Caldwell, a waitress at the bar explained.
But ever since the lockout put the hockey season and the Nashville Predators on ice, her tips have dried up.
"There would be game days when I walked out of here with $30 bucks," Caldwell recalled.
"It's taking a toll on us all," said manager Scott Frame.
Frame said with potentially 10,000 to 15,000 fans coming downtown to watch the Predators play, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays were good for business. But tonight the dinner crowd was a dud and tables were empty. It was a similar scene Saturday night at businesses up and down Broadway from the honky tonks to souvenir shops.
"We had to push a lot of people who start say at noon to 4 and coming in past the 4 o'clock hour when we'd be starting to build up business we've had to look at now saying 6 o'clock and consider taking volunteers who want to go home," Frame explained.
And now with news the NHL will likely cancel the rest of the games this month, area businesses could be forced to take more drastic measures. So Caldwell has a tip for the NHL.
"It's hurting the economy it's hurting everyone who tries to work hard down here ... so bring it back please!"
There is one bright spot in all of this. Bridgestone Arena has added several events to the calendar, including games with Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State University which could bring people to downtown. But if a deal isn't reached soon, Frame said they may have to make deeper cuts.
Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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