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Caps spur economy with playoff games

Saturday - 5/12/2012, 9:51am  ET

John Aaron, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - You might have a lot at stake when it comes to Game 7 between the Caps and Rangers.

But local business owners will have the whitest knuckles on Saturday night.

A Caps loss could mean tens of thousands of dollars of lost revenue for an area bar or restaurant. A win could pump hundreds of thousands of dollars - if not more - into the local economy.

Phil Severson, general manager of BlackFinn in Bethesda, Md., hopes the Capitals' playoff run continues as both a businessman and a fan.

"Our business is up, easy, 30 to 40 percent across the board," he says. "We're talking a couple thousand dollars [in revenue] every single day they have an extra game."

Trey LeStrange, owner of Steamers restaurant in Bethesda, says the playoff run is exactly what many spots like his needed.

"The Caps have done wonders for my business," LeStrange says. "They're making up for the lost revenue of the Washington Redskins."

The jump in sales he's seen from the Caps' playoff games been significant.

"They've definitely increased my sales on any given night that they play by at least $4,000 to $5,000," LeStrange says.

Even if the Capitals beat the Rangers, only to get swept out of the Conference Finals, it won't be a terrible outcome for local establishments.

"If they played four more games," LeStrange says, "you're looking at the potential for $15,000 to $20,000."

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)