Montreal bars fight to stop Bell Centre viewing parties
Watch above: Bar owners are up in arms that the Bell Centre will once again broadcast the Canadiens’ road game on its giant screens, with the entry fee going to charity. Paola Samuel reports.
Montreal Canadiens fans will once again get the chance to watch a playoff game on the big screens of the Bell Centre.
Sunday’s night’s playoff game against the New York Rangers takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York.
While it’s an exciting time for the fans, a group of Montreal bar owners say the big viewing parties are having a big impact on their businesses. They’re asking the Quebec Liquor Board to step in and stop the popular fan parties.
“The permit allows them only to do live shows on the premises by doing that they have the right to sell beer,” says Peter Sergakis, the head of the Quebec Bar Association. “They are projecting from Boston and New York, so it’s not a live show and the liquor permit is not the right permit.”
The Bell Centre holds 21,000 people; Sergakis says they’re all potential customers.
Sergakis says he is most concerned about the precedent these parties are setting. Next year, the Habs are scheduled to play 41 games on the road. If the Bell Centre is allowed to continue with its viewing parties, Sergakis worries that could mean millions of dollars of lost revenue for Montreal bars.
Tickets for Sunday night’s game went on sale Friday afternoon.
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