State revenue officials said overall sales tax figures in St. Paul -- and also for just the city's downtown area -- present a cloudy picture on the effect of the National Hockey League.  Two examples:

• In 2005, overall sales tax figures in St. Paul from January through May, during the NHL lockout, were ahead of figures for the same period the year before when there was no lockout.

• While sales tax figures for St. Paul's downtown and the area surrounding Xcel Energy Center dropped during the September 2004-July 2005 lockout, they dropped more dramatically in 2007 when hockey was being played. Source:  Minnesota Department of Revenue