BUFFALO, N.Y (WIVB) - The lockout is affecting more than just the NHL and the Sabres players. It is affecting many fans and business owners in the city of Buffalo even more.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said many times that the league is not going to continue operating under its current Collective Bargaining Agreement and league management is determined to come away from this situation with economic gains.
The reality is, losing all or even part of a season would mean an economic loss not just for the NHL, but for the businesses that fans help support as well.
"It's a bigger picture than a bunch of millionaires fighting over dollars and I hope they come to realize that its more than just about them and a larger picture. It's about the economy and the lives that they affect," says fan Pat Rocco.
Those lives include the concession workers and ushers at the arenas of restaurant owners, bartenders and servers, who do big business with fans on game nights.
"We actually thought creatively in 04-05 when most other businesses were scaling back, our ownership thought that was a good time to invest. I think the biggest difference between now and 04', not only for us but for the city in general is that there's more of a critical mass downtown now," says Pearl Street Grill & Brewery owner Roy Bakus.
For that reason Bakus says, Pearl St, and many downtown businesses should be okay. There are plenty new festivals, events, residential and business developments to bring people into Buffalo; it's the fans who lose out.
Sabres fan Joe Biondo says, "I'll be honest with you I'm on the side of the players because I feel the owners are making way too much money and we the fans are not even included in any of this discussion.
That's the prevailing sentiment amongst fans whose loyalty is now being tested for the second time in seven years.
This is a reminder that the NHL has a lot more to lose than just dollars, and tickets sales and could also lose some of its image, and the bigger fan based of it has built up since the last lock out in 04-05.
An eight-year-old boy was shot Thursday morning in Cattaraugus County. Officials are at the scene on West Road, in Leon.
There is another Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect for Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties from Thursday through early Friday.
Lake Effect Snow Warnings return today with the chance for an additional foot for some areas.
A 26-year-old male employee of Ying's Wings and Things told police that Haibo Jiang, also known as Jimmy Ying, choked him until he passed out.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
Viewers sent in photos from the snowfall around Western New York.