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NHL lockout could hurt the economy in the Detroit-area

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University of Detroit Mercy Professor Mike Bernacchi  (Credit: myFOXDetroit.com) University of Detroit Mercy Professor Mike Bernacchi (Credit: myFOXDetroit.com)
DETROIT (myFOXDetroit.com) -

There's a chance the Detroit Red Wings won't play hockey this season. The NHL appears headed for a lockout. With no further meetings scheduled before Saturday's midnight deadline, the two sides are still very far apart. So, what could a lockout mean for Hockeytown?

If a lockout happens, our local economy could be hit hard, costing it more than a million dollars.

However, NHL hockey in general across the country isn't doing as well as it does in Detroit. There are 30 teams in the NHL. Forbes magazine says 18 of them are losing money.

Dr. Mike Bernacchi, a marketing professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, broke down the major leagues as follows. In the NFL, the average team value is $1.1 billion. In Major League Baseball, the average team is worth $600 million.

The average team value in the NBA is $300 million and the NHL comes in last at $240 million.

While the National Hockey League's profits are far from ice melting, Detroit does have an edge. The top grossing teams in this order are Toronto, New York, Montreal, Detroit, Boston and then finally Chicago.

Outside of those teams, experts say the National Hockey League needs to change from the cost for fans at the stadium to the lack of interest in some markets. Think of it like some of the big companies that had to become smaller and smarter. Bernacchi said it's the NHL's turn.

"When you take a look at what teams do the best in terms of team evaluations, guess what? The six teams that do the best are the original six teams. So maybe we should make that slice right there."

"Lockout affects business because people are not going to be coming downtown. There's no game to come to, so what's the point for them to drive downtown," said Grace Keros from American Coney Island. "Downtown is busy when there (are) events. Anytime there's an event, this city is bustling. It's beautiful, but if there's not a Red Wing game to go to, they won't be down here."

Detroit would be hit hard from game day sales, vendors at the game, parties at home and pizza sales. You had better believe Mike Illitch, who runs both the Red Wings and Little Caesars, will be feeling the hit. In marketing, one of the best things they like to do is pair pizza with is hockey.

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