ALBANY, N.Y. - It's that time of the year again--after a few months, the first home game of the season brings in hockey fans eager to cheer on their favorite teams. And, well, who's to say restaurant and bar owners aren't having a field day, too?
"We had a great pre-game here. It's the first game of the season, so I feel like all the avid Devils fans are out," said Ciara Hotel, supervisor at Wolf's 1-11 on Pearl Street.
"Home opener. Big game," said Trevor Powhida, an Albany Devils fan.
He is exactly what bars like Legends on Pearl Street are looking for. More fans mean more customers.
"I'm extremely excited because it bring business to the city. So, good business is good for us," said Scott Wilber, a bartender at Legends.
Same goes for Wolf's 1-11. Conveniently located right next to the Times Union Center, it's a popular pick for fans coming to and leaving the Devils games.
"Hockey season aligning with basketball season is a great time for us here at Wolf's 1-11," said Hotel.
Although it's now one of the best times of year for hockey fans with local establishments reaping the benefits, some say business could be better.
"I think if games ended a little bit earlier, it would be a little better because there's that wall between 9-11 o'clock where it's not really that busy in downtown Albany," said Powhida.
For others, it all comes down to marketing. Better promotions could lead to a better crowd--both at the games and at the restaurants and bars.
"They need to promote the games better. There's not enough promotions, not enough commercials, things like that," said George Robbare.