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The National Hockey League lockout officially took hold last weekend, and no progress had been made in bargaining negotiations, putting the Sabres’ season in jeopardy.

In fact, the NHL has already canceled 60 games.

This news does not bode well for businesses near First Niagara Center in Buffalo, but what about in Batavia?

Rick Mancuso is the owner of T.F. Brown’s sports bar on East Main Street. He says not being able to provide viewing opportunities for a local team is not beneficial.

“There’s definitely a market for the Sabres here in Batavia as there is in Buffalo – probably not as much," Mancuso said. "But it’s an additional entertainment piece that we have here at our business to offer all the sports. It is a positive thing here at T.F. Brown’s when the Sabres are playing. We do get great crowds out especially during big games and the playoff season.” 

Even though the Sabres’ season typically interferes with the Bills’ Mancuso says there’s a good reason fans focus on hockey once the winter starts.

“Generally, the Bills have been out of the playoffs for the last several years," Mancuso said, "and when you get to that point in the year right around the New year, the Sabres are just kicking off the second half of their season and hopes are high. It does give us an opportunity to have someone else to root for and it does keep the interest of the local people in the local economy.”

Mancuso also says that the sport of hockey draws all kinds of fans to his business because of the fast-pace and excitement of the game.

It’s the league’s fourth labor stoppage since 1992 and the first since the entire 2004-2005 season was cancelled as management successfully bargained a salary cap.

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