Businesses are advertising their Flames products around the city to show support for the team. PHOTO: JOSH WERLE

As the Calgary Flames and the entire “C of Red”  fanbase gear up for their second round battle against the Edmonton Oilers, some businesses are seeing green as support for the team rises.

It’s often customary for Flames fans to get dressed up for the game and head out to join their fellow supporters in the red mile, which is good news for the Costume Shoppe.

Marshall Billings, the online enterprise manager of the Costume Shoppe, says business increases every time the Flames are in the playoffs.

“People want to come in and buy red hairspray or white hairspray and red-and white-sided wigs and whatnot,” says Billings.

The Costume Shoppe has strategically used the Flames’ playoff appearance to their advantage, and the support of Flames fans has been a huge help to their business. 

“It’s very much appreciated. Coming out of a pandemic and trying to fight against the big retailers… trying to find stuff to keep us relevant is a struggle, but we got there.” 

The Costume Shoppe is a great place to go to get ready for the Red Mile. PHOTO: JOSH WERLE

Meanwhile, Steve Kean, the manager of Richmond’s Pub, says traffic has increased tenfold since the beginning of the Flames’ playoff run. 

“It’s great. It’s like being back to almost normal. Everyone is coming out and having a great time cheering on the Flames,” says Kean. 

Kean believes the traffic uptick is due to the increased support for the Flames, as well as the intrigue that the unpredictability of playoff hockey creates. 

“The best team can get swept in the first round. It’s exciting and there’s always a buzz going around in the air whenever your home team makes it into the playoffs.”

Richmond’s Pub is a go-to spot for many sports fans to catch their team in action. PHOTO: JOSH WERLE

That buzz is doing more than benefiting local businesses too.

At the Red Lot — the Calgary Flames’ outdoor viewing parties set up for the playoff run — on May 5, Vern Raincock was looking to capitalize on Flames fever in support of Ukraine through the Brew for Ukraine project.

Brew for Ukraine supports nonprofit organizations helping the people of Ukraine. They raise money by providing breweries, bars and liquor stores with their special beers.

Vern Raincock shows off one of Brew for Ukraine’s special dry-hopped golden ales. PHOTO: JOSH WERLE

“Over 550 breweries started selling their beer. [Brew for Ukraine] provides the recipe as well as their labels so breweries around the world can brew their beer,” says Raincock. 

Raincock has done consulting work for the Pravda Beer Theatre in Lviv, and hopes the Brew for Ukraine initiative can offer support to the people of Ukraine.

“One hundred per cent of the revenue is going towards the Ukraine refugee relief efforts.” 

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