FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 20, 2011
The Stanley Cup may be silver, but the championship performance by the Boston Bruins this spring was pure gold, not just for the team and its fans, but also for Boston's visitor industry.
In many ways, this was a "perfect storm" for the Bruins and the city. Start with the fact that on the eve of the NHL playoffs, only the most optimistic fans could envision the Bruins taking us on such a thrilling ride all the way to the team's first championship in 39 years. In hockey terms, it had everything-memorable plays, overtimes, heroes and villains.
But it also had something that those of us in the visitor industry would have listed at the very top of our "Keys to the Playoffs"-duration!
This was a championship odyssey that lasted 63 days and 25 games, from April 14th to June 15th. For hotels, restaurants, sports bars and retailers in Greater Boston, it was the gift that kept on giving. For two full months, fans, journalists, and NHL staff and event sponsors streamed into the city, and it wasn't just the fans of the opposing teams who were booking rooms. More than five thousand Bruins fans who attend home games live more than 50 miles outside the city; many of them stayed overnight as well.
If all four rounds of the playoffs had gone the full 7 games, and if the Bruins had home ice in each series, the city would have hosted the maximum number of 16 games. We came pretty close, with 13. And many of those games were back-to-back, with an off-day in between. That stretched out visitor stays, and visitor spending. In the Tampa Bay series, for instance, the series opened in Boston on a Saturday, but Game Two wasn't until Tuesday, leaving plenty of time for visitors to tour, dine, and shop.
Each home game in the first three rounds produced just over $2 million. With the Bruins hosting ten home games before the finals, $20-$24 million was generated. Once the finals began, the revenue flow increased significantly, with the huge influx into the city of national and international media, NHL staff, family members, marketing partners, and other groups. Nine different hotels in the city had rooms blocked out for Cup-related visitors. At $5 million per game in the final round, the three home games generated about $15 million citywide. Adding up revenue from hotels, restaurants and sports bars, retail, and transportation such as taxis and the "T" (Boston's subway), total new or additional revenue was approximately $40 million.
All of this happened before the Bruins captured the Stanley Cup in Vancouver. When they did, they not only placed Boston once again at the center of the hockey universe, they created yet another bounce for the city's economy through a parade attended by a million-plus fans and a total blitz on stores to purchase Bruins memorabilia.
When Boston hosts major events, it is a team effort fueled by the vision, hard work and advance planning of Mayor Menino and many political, business, community and civic leaders. Events such as the National Democratic Convention, the International Biotechnology Convention, the Ryder Cup, national lacrosse championships and men's and women's NCAA hockey and basketball tournament games enhance Boston's visibility and prestige around the country and the world.
With the Bruins' triumph, Boston's pro teams have, remarkably, won seven championships over the past decade. The Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots have attracted millions of visitors and generated millions of dollars for our region in an unprecedented era of sports supremacy. Boston is truly Title Town USA.
The bottom line is that we owe a special thanks to the owners of our sports teams. You have added significantly to our bottom line!