Kingsley Bailey's wife Debbie didn't appreciate the timing of the text he received at 5 a.m. Sunday morning.
"Who the heck is texting you at this time?" Debbie asked Burnaby's best-known ticket broker.
"I had to tell her it was a friend telling me the NHL lockout was over and business was going to pick up," said the North Burnaby resident. "I was so excited that I didn't go back to bed after that. I didn't jump on the bed or couch like Tom Cruise, but I was pretty happy."
Bailey, who runs Vancouver Tour and Ticket Service in downtown Vancouver, said his business took a hit of at least 40 per cent for the three-plus months there was no Vancouver Canucks hockey at Rogers Arena.
With the Canucks set to start a 48-game schedule on Jan. 19, Bailey expects the next four months to be crazy busy.
"I think the good news for Canucks fans is you'll find that there will be a lot of good, affordable games early in the season," said Bailey. "I think fans will come back, but not all of them will, so that may mean more tickets are available."
One way Bailey was able to stay afloat while his biggest attraction was on the sidelines was to concentrate on another pseudo-local sports team that has captured the imagination of North American sports fans.
"We went big on the Seattle Seahawks," said Bailey. "Just because there was no hockey didn't mean people didn't have money to spend on events. There were so many Canadians who wanted to see the Seahawks and that was really good for business. ... Plus, we got a huge amount of exposure."
Another thing Bailey did was he capitalized on a great slate of concerts that came into Vancouver in the autumn.
"To have Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen come in on back-to-back nights was pretty good," he said. "Add in Neil Young and we've got Lady Gaga this weekend and it's been a good concert season."
Also very happy with the end of the NHL lockout is New Westminster bar manager Peter Saran.
Saran manages the River's Reach Pub and he has a similar story about what his Sunday morning was like.
"Around 5 a.m., my phone started going crazy and my family was wondering what the emergency was," said Saran. "I knew they were close to a deal, but to find out for real that it was over, that was good news."
Saran said business at the popular pub was a little off because of the lockout, but the resolution of the dispute couldn't have come at a better time.
"Before the holidays, we were doing OK because the Seahawks are huge and the NFL is big," said Saran. "We would've really felt it as soon as the NFL season ends, so for hockey to be back, that's really good for us."
Saran said personally, he's happy to see the Canucks and the NHL back, but it also means a little work outside of his job.
"I have to start working on my hockey pool now," he said. "I'm going to have to sit down and do some research because it's been so long since we had NHL hockey."
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