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Big boost to Edmonton economy during Oilers playoff run

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Locals and visitors to Edmonton have spent a lot of money since the Stanley Cup Playoffs kicked off in April.

"The numbers we have for the first three rounds is $179 million coming into our local economy," says Janelle Janis, executive director of events and business development with Explore Edmonton.

All that spending is benefiting businesses in the city, especially in downtown near the Rogers Place. However, establishments further away from the core are also feeling the ripple effect.

Travis Boa, general manager for Sea Change Brewing Company says they’ve seen an uptick in sales and their taprooms are almost full every night.

"It’s probably the most exciting thing that's been happening in the city for a long time. And people are just super geared up to get their jerseys on and come and enjoy the games and have a couple of pints", he said.

Even grocery stores are seeing popular items fly off their shelves on game night.

"It’s for a lot of gatherings and a lot of parties," said Teresa Spinelli, president of the Italian Centre Shop.

"Like our 'take and bake' pizzas, we do a lot of those all of the time, but particularly this time of year while there’s the Oilers playing we sell a lot of the specialty pizzas."

Explore Edmonton says its estimate on spending during the cup run is from visitors shopping, dining, staying in hotels and game ticket prices.

The cost to go to a game has skyrocketed and is expected to be even more expensive during the cup finals.

According to stubhub.ca, the price of a ticket to the finals in Edmonton is more than $3,000.

Moshe Lander, with the Department of Economics at Concordia University in Montreal, says the high ticket prices are the result of supply and demand.

"Don't be surprise if between now and October when the new season begins if somehow the Oilers sneak in an announcement that says next year's tickets for just the regular season are going to jump 10 per cent, 20 per cent. And if the Oilers win they could easily jump 50 per cent,” he said.

"Being in the Stanley Cup finals really puts Edmonton in that global spotlight," said Puneeta McBryan, CEO of the Downtown Business Association of Edmonton.

"People are looking at Edmonton in a way that they’ve never really looked at Edmonton before. So, I don’t think it can be overstated how big of an impact this is having on our city." 

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