Hawks Fever Means Big Business For Local Stores

The Chicago Blackhawks run at a second consecutive Stanley Cup has cash registers ringing all over the city.

Max Waisvisz, owner of Gold Coast Tickets, says he's been getting an average of 15 calls an hour from fans inquiring about tickets for the Western Conference Finals, even though the schedule has yet to be set. Individual tickets are expected to sell for between $250-$750 next round.

"We get a lot more response. A lot more people get interested because we're one step before the Stanley Cup," Waisvisz said. "With the Bulls, it was exciting but very fast. The Blackhawks is basically the only thing we have."

At West End Bar and Grill, they're bracing for huge crowds with at least two more home games guaranteed. He says business quadruples on game nights.

There's gonna be potential for everyone to make a little more money, especially in the West Loop," general manager Michael Williamson. "It gets nuts, people forget they have to work the next day, everybody is in good spirits and it's a little bit crazier."

It's the same situation at Gunzo's apparel shop across the street.

"We're gonna keep seeing people come in. We really do well here on game nights," Gunzo's sales associate Steve Jankowski said. "More and more people are coming in, looking for shirts, hats, jerseys, especially the customized jerseys."

Even though the business owners are big Blackhawks fans, they secretly hope the team loses a couple of games each series in order to squeeze in more opportunities for the revenue boost.

"It's better for everybody," West Town Bar and Grill general manager Michael Williamson said. "It's better for the staff. The shifts are going to be coming."

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