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Canucks crash a loss for business, win for taxpayers 0

STEPHANIE IP, 24 HOURS
Aftab Hadi, owner of Granville Sports Corner, goes through his Canucks merchandise one day after the Canucks were knocked out of the NHL Playoffs by the Los Angeles Kings. (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)

Aftab Hadi, owner of Granville Sports Corner, goes through his Canucks merchandise one day after the Canucks were knocked out of the NHL Playoffs by the Los Angeles Kings. (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)

You win some, you lose some - and in the case of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Vancouver did plenty of both.

While the Canucks' early playoff exit meant big economic losses for local businesses, it was also a big win for taxpayers, with the Vancouver Police Department saving more than $1 million in policing costs.

"That was the estimate if the Canucks made it through the Stanley Cup final and each series went seven games," said Const. Lindsey Houghton of the almost $1.1-million budget originally allotted to policing downtown streets and playoff celebrations through Game 7 of the final.

"We're saving over a million dollars that we would have potentially spent on the playoff run that we can now spend on policing throughout the year."

According to Houghton, $67,500 had been budgeted for the opening round. However, with the Canucks' Game 5 loss, the VPD's costs came in under $60,000.

Others, however, weren't as pleased. During last year's Cup run, Ian Tostenson of the B.C. Restaurants Association noted a 75 to 150% increase in business on game nights for downtown establishments.

This year, he estimates the Canucks' short playoff run represents a loss of about $1 million per game for restaurants, pubs and bars province-wide.

"For as long as I can remember, we've always had a fairly deep run (in the playoffs) and that's comparative for the industry," he said, adding staff will likely see their hours cut and suppliers will feel the effects.

Granville Sports Corner owner Aftab Hadi, however, was left hanging out to dry - along with his overstock of Luongo jerseys.

"Unfortunately, we made all of our calculations based on last year," Hadi said, adding much of the merchandise will be stored until the fall. Last year's playoffs brought in so much business he was able to open a second location.

"Now I'm just calculating how to manage the next four months. I have to look towards the other teams."


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