Portland businesses brace for season without Pirates

5:41 PM, Sep 4, 2013   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The Cumberland County Civic Center Board of Trustees held a special session Today to discuss the failed negotiations with the Portland Pirates hockey team. There was no movement towards reaching a deal. The board appears firm in its stance of no more negotiations.

Meanwhile the Portland business community is now contemplating a winter season with no Pirates hockey at the civic center.  Across from the civic center Binga's Stadium is packed on game days, and often has people waiting for tables before the puck drops. The owner says filling the civic center calendar with a few concerts or other events can't make up the business that will be lost if the 25 Pirates games slated for this season go away.

Binga's is not the only business that will feel the pinch if the Pirates leave. A study commissioned by the Portland Regional Chamber found civic center events generate 20-million dollars annually for the local economy and a significant amount comes from Portland Pirate Games.

"We represent a lot of businesses that get a lot of business themselves from Pirates games. Everything from hotels to restaurants to everything you see downtown. The impact is very substantial", said Chamber CEO Chris Hall.

Business were looking to feed off the excitement of a newly renovated civic center this hockey season. Now they may be looking at ways to simply make it through the season. The Civic Center Board of Trustees has no other meeting scheduled at this time on matters pertaining to the Pirates.


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