Businesses eager to welcome Grey Cup crowds
Published Tuesday, November 20, 2012 6:39PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 20, 2012 6:40PM EST
Downtown businesses are eagerly anticipating the swell of CFL fans who will be rushing into the city on Sunday to take in the 100th Grey Cup.
Local retailers, restaurants and bars are looking forward to the added business the event will draw, especially in the midst of the NHL lockout.
Casey’s Bar and Grill server Kyle Anthony told CTV Toronto he’s noticed a decline in patrons ever since the lockout began.
“It takes out about 60 or 70 per cent of your winter revenue in hockey alone. We’re a mad hockey city,” he said.
Anthony predicts that with the crowds of people heading into the downtown core to attend Grey Cup Festival events and watch the game, he will see a boost in his weekly pay.
“This week I’m probably going to make about maybe 300 per cent more than I made last week,” he said.
In anticipation of the match, manager Christine Karsnoyarski said the popular downtown restaurant will be extending hours and hosting special events.
“We’re going to have a band. We’re open until 2 a.m. on Sunday and we’re also having this entire area covered with a tent and this is going to be our big beer tent,” she said.
Even businesses outside the downtown core are looking forward to the additional business.
“I’m not getting any sales right now when it comes to NHL hockey,” said Tex Thomas of Pro League Sports Collectibles, a sports store located in the Beaches.
But with the arrival of new Argos gear coming into his shop, he hopes fans will start buying the CFL merchandise as the Grey Gup approaches.
“I’m hoping with all this stuff that’s come in, maybe 25 to 30 per cent in sales leading up to the game on the weekend,” said Thomas.
With a report by CTV Toronto’s Austin Delaney
Local retailer Tex Thomas is pictured in his sporting goods store in Toronto, Nov. 20, 2012. Local businesses say they are looking forward to the increased crowds the 100th Grey Cup will bring to the city.