Saskatoon businesses could see spin-off from Saskatchewan Rush

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Saskatoon businesses could see spin-off from Saskatchewan Rush
Watch above: The much anticipated home-opener for Saskatchewan’s newest professional sports team is set for Friday night. Joel Senick takes a look at what Saskatchewan Rush owners expect from lacrosse fans and what business owners hope it will mean for them – Jan 15, 2016

SASKATOON – The Saskatchewan Rush will have a positive economic impact on a number of Saskatoon’s business sectors according to the director of its chamber of commerce.

“There will be an incremental expenditure from across the market into Saskatoon from a tourism perspective,” said Kent Smith-Windsor, executive director of the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.

The Rush will take on the Vancouver Stealth in their home opener at the SaskTel Centre Friday evening. Its team president expects between 8,000 and 9,000 fans to attend the matchup. It will be the first of nine home games this season.

“We have buses coming from Edmonton for this game, Regina, you name it,” said Lee Genier, the Saskatchewan Rush president.

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“Yesterday we did 700 tickets alone; we’ve been doing those kind of numbers all week,” he said, during an interview Thursday afternoon.

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Any number of fans attending the game will make a positive difference for hotels, restaurants and retail stores, according to Smith-Windsor. A Friday night game could also keep attendees in Saskatoon over the weekend.

“The magic of tourism is to get them to stay longer, because it’s a very clear pattern of incremental expenditure per day,” said Smith-Windsor.

“Given that each of the single events becomes a little weekend focus and there’s nine of them, the buzz and the hype around the special weekend kind of thing will clearly augment visitation in Saskatoon.”

The new professional sports team also gives Tourism Saskatoon another way to promote the city, according to its media specialist Chad Reynolds.

“Anytime you have an excuse to bring people in from the smaller centres around Saskatoon, into the city, it’s a good way to show off what’s going on here in town,” said Reynolds.

“I think it adds a lot of credibility to our city to have a professional sports, it’s about time.”

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