If the 2012-13 NHL season is lost and the Detroit Red Wings do not play any games at Joe Louis Arena, the city can expect a significant negative economic impact. David Littman, an economist at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, estimates that the Detroit area, including the Red Wings, will lose $84.4 million in potential revenues.
Most of that money would be revenues for the team, arena and concessionaires, and wages for employees of those entities. That includes tickets, food, beer and merchandise that won't be sold, parking spots that won't be used and advertising that won't be bought. All factored into Littman's calculations.
Included in the estimate are also the "second and third effect" dollars from fans hitting bars, restaurants and stores around Joe Louis Arena. Littman says he used a larger multiplier to get that $84 million figure – giving it "the benefit of doubt" – and that the final number, in reality, could be anywhere from 15 to 20 percent higher or lower.