The economics of the lockout are about more than just the split of basketball-related income. The NBA is big business for cities. There are restaurants surrounding arenas that depend on foot traffic before and after events. There are concession workers and staff that make arenas go so fans can enjoy NBA basketball. They don’t get paid millions of dollars.
A lot of these people cannot replace the income or revenue like cities can — many economists believe that people will simply spend their disposable incomes on other forms of entertainment. There are people though that will not be able to replace that income. They are the ones really hurting from the lockout. Really hurting.
Darren Rovell of CNBC details a lot of stories about small businesses who are truly hurting from the lockout. Rovell details the losers of this lockout — bar owners who see revenues decrease dramatically (one Boston bar owner says $300,000), t-shirt retailers who have seen sales decrease to a crawl, hotels who have open rooms as NBA teams don’t need a place to stay during road trips. There are declines across the board.
Even places where you wouldn’t expect. Like escort services. Yes, escort services.
“A 30 percent decline seems to be the magic number, even for Henry, who runs an escort service in New York that he says charges between $400 and $4,000 an hour, depending on the woman.
“Henry says he takes between 65 and 80 percent of the total cut to match the players and other high-profile fans, who are with the client an average of four hours.
“‘There are replacements but they aren’t as consistent and not nearly as high paying,’ Henry said.”
I guess even that industry is not recession proof. Or lockout proof. Also, Shawn Kemp and Patrick Ewing are no longer in their primes so that probably hurt business too.
I kid, I kid.
It says something larger about the economy surrounding the NBA lockout. There are a lot of people who are not millionaires — and are in more, let’s say, respectable lines of work — who rely on the NBA for income and for work. They plan their budgets and their lives around the NBA season and game nights. Many restaurants around arenas plan for the increase in business around game nights to carry them through the year. Without that, tough times could be ahead (even if that money goes elsewhere… it is not going to them).
And it could not happen at a worse time.
Everyone, even team employees, sales representatives and broadcasters, are feeling the pinch as games get canceled. The lockout is hurting everyone involved in the basketball business. Its effects are far beyond “millionaires vs. billionaires.”