Businesses happy hockey returning to Hockeytown - FOX 10 News |

Businesses happy hockey returning to Hockeytown

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By Ryan Ermanni
Fox 2 Sports

PLYMOUTH, Mich. (WJBK) -- In a normal 82 game schedule, local bars, restaurants and businesses can count on 41 dates, not including playoffs, to have the Red Wings play downtown.  With the lockout, those businesses were hurting big time.

"Business down, yes, it was down, yes sir," said Ali Alhalmi from Lafayette Coney Island.

"Lockout business-wise has really, really been a killer," said Cobo Joe's General Manager Jimmy Britt.

But when news broke that the season was saved and Hockeytown would host hockey games once again, a collective sigh of relief was let go.

"Very happy, very glad to see them play again," Alhalmi said.

"When I [saw] it... on my phone yesterday morning, I [texted] everybody saying, 'Hey, hockey's back,'" Britt said.  "Everybody just [texted] back saying they [were] happy, let's go."

"We [were] hoping this would be done way before it even started back in the summer, even last year when they [were] working on it, but you got to just be happy that they came back."

Earlier on Monday, we caught up with Mike Babcock at Central Catholic High School's hockey practice where he was leading the team.  Babcock had this to say regarding the people who depend on hockey for their livelihoods getting back to work.

"A lot of the fans and a lot of the businesses had a tough go, and ideally us getting up and running's going to really help them out," he said.  "Once again, I've got to say thanks, thanks for the fans who are sticking with us."

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