We could paint an Oilers logo in the middle of the Pepsi Center and get the same impact

Terry Jones says it's "meaningful" for the NHL to be coming to down in the Wuhan Flu era.

Last week at the bar K'mpec made basically this same argument: isn't it awesome that the NHL is going to be playing hockey in Edmonton?

No, not really. Jones lays out most of the arguments right away, actually:

I mean, the games would be played in Rogers Place with no fans in the stands. Why bother to bid for a sports event that nobody is going to be able to attend?

Why bid on an event where nobody is likely to eyeball any of the players on the 12 teams or many of the famous faces in hockey or in the broadcasting business anywhere around town?

It seems silly to some to work so hard to bring 12 teams to town to perform in what would amount to one giant, glorified television studio.

It makes since to bid for a Grey Cup and have a budget of $14 million because the event brings thousands of people to the city and has a huge economic impact.
Jones' defense is similar to the one he used for the World Championships in Athletics back in 2001: it helps raise our international profile:
There’s what amounts to free advertising for the benefits of holding events in Rogers Place.

“First of all there would be the credibility of just being selected as a Hub City,” said Ballantyne.

“Certainly we would want to showcase Rogers Place. We think it’s the best building in the NHL. The opportunity to work with the league and pull something this significant off in such a trying time would just earn you so much credibility as a franchise and as a city.

“The players, who voted Edmonton as having the No. 2 ice in the league and No. 1 visiting dressing room in the league, know all about Rogers Place. But for players (think potential free agents) and their families to experience the city in the summer, might cure some of those perception problems.”

But what you get is between 50 and 81 games telecast out of each Hub City complete with what the TV people call “beauty shots” from around the city for the openings, coming back from commercials and at the start of every period. You also have repeated references to the city during the broadcasts.

Edmonton isn’t Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto or Las Vegas where promotion wouldn’t be a factor.

“Edmonton is a small market cold-weather city. It would be an excellent opportunity to showcase our city in the summer and we don’t think you could put a price tag on that,” said Shipton.

“We think there’s going to be a voracious appetite for hockey when it comes back. Sports fans have had a big void in their lives. We think the broadcast numbers are going to far exceed what they were heading into the playoffs.

“For fans from all around the world see the video of the city during each game in July, August and September say ‘Gee, Edmonton, that’s not the way I pictured it in mid-February at 40 below, it look pretty beautiful.’ There aren;’t many more beautiful places than Edmonton in the summer.”

I remain unconvinced. Quick, where were the last two World Championships in Athletics held? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? The 2019 event was held in the capital city of Qatar and I'm not going to say the city's name and you aren't going to know it without looking it up. The 2017 event was in London. You've heard of London, but I'm going to go on a whim and say that you knew London England existed before 2017 (unless you were born after 2015). So much for raising the international profile. The World Championships in Athletics were also held in the beautiful August 3-August 12th timeframe, do you think a lot of people around the world heard about how beautiful the city looked? No, they heard about how the Daily Telegraph called the city boring and soullless.
“When it comes to the economic impact, people are discounting it,” said VP Communications Tim Shipton who along with VP Operations Stuart Ballantyne are the Oilers Entertainment Group point people on the project.

“But there’s still a pretty significant economic impact. There are jobs. Certainly there will be arena jobs. There’s economic impact in Ice District with the J.W. Marriott being full, all the meeting rooms being full, and all the other hotels in the downtown core that we would need in order to house the referees, linemen, broadcasters and all the other people involved.

“Most of these hotels are closed right now.

“There’s going to be the requirement for bussing to and from practice rinks and to and from some of the hospitality we’d put together, booking golf courses and other activities and events. The real winner would be the city to have that shot in the arm.

“Just the testing component for coronavirus would involve a local testing company. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman talked about a figure of $3 million U.S. for testing. You get into the tens of millions pretty quick in an economy that’s in the toilet right now,” Shipton added.
Premier Jason Kenney said it would be the best free publicity since the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games. And he’s right. But Calgary 1988 wasn’t free. This is.

Yes yes the economic benefits aren't nothing. But from an Edmonton based hockey fan perspective I can't see the reason to get exicted. As I allude to in the post's title, we aren't going to really notice the difference other than recognizing the logo during all the games (presuming they don't cover it up anyways). We aren't going to see Chris Pronger at Billiard's Club, or George Laraque at Squires, or even the sexy 2001 Jamaican beach volleyball team on the LRT.
The NHL's biggest stars come to town and it will ultimately just be a piece of trivia. Now sure we can go out to the bars and (kind of, 6' apart) party it up, especially when the Oilers make a deep Cup run. But we could do that anywhere the games are played: it's not like an Oilers game has to be at home in order to get fans out at the bar: after all, the picture you see at right was taken on May 27th when the Oilers won Game 5 of the Conference Finals in Anaheim. That was the infamous "destroyed telephone booth" incident that caused Edmonton City Police to overreact and crackdown on "crazy partiers" that look positively calming in the wake of the violent riots in the United States this week.

I, uh, didn't get her number. And since this is 2001, I meant her ICQ number.

Violent blacks get away with murder, partying whites are cracked down on for pushing a shopping cart down a closed street. White privilege eh?

Related: Rumblings are that Edmonton might lose out to Vegas (of course) as the western hub city anyways. Toronto of course wants the games because of course they do, even though they have a lot of COVID cases (which really shouldn't matter) and a lot of potentially violent protesting blacks (which I hear might be a problem lately) and of course no B-roll of people out at patios drinking beer and watching the games.