NBA Arena Employees To Be Hit Hardest Of Anybody By Lockout

The Jamario Moon rap video is certainly a negative repercussion of an NBA Lockout that’s left millionaire players like J-Lunar with more time on their hands than they probably need, but it’s not the worst part.  Not even close.  

While the game checks that might be lost here in the next couple months might cause some players to downsize from two Gucci duffel bags to one over the short-term, the lost opportunity for NBA Arena Employees could literally take food off the tables for thousands of families across the country. 

The very real possibility of this has been described as devastating by Union leaders like Mike Garcia who works with Staples Center employees, set to possibly lose up to 82 games worth of work through the cancellation of both Laker and Clipper games.  

This from the LA Times:

“It’s going to devastate these workers,” said Mike Garcia, president of the SEIU-United Service Workers West union, with nearly 1,000 members working at the three NBA arenas in California: Staples Center, Oracle Arena in Oakland and Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento.

“They have become very dependent on these jobs,” he said. The workers include janitors, ushers and ticket-takers who earn about $11 an hour on average.”

In addition to the group of Arena Workers, Food Services that supply the arenas, as well as cater to the teams both pre and post-game, will also take a big hit.  You should see some of these spreads post-game for players, way better than anything I had at my high school graduation party to be sure.

There is the option of having concerts in the arena while the games are canceled, but according to the LA Times piece there’s only a handful of acts that can actually sell these places out.  I don’t expect Moon’s up and coming rap group to be one of them either for whatever that’s worth.

More from the Times:

“If the NBA cancels games this fall in dribs and drabs it will create a financial headache for many arenas. Only a limited number of entertainers, such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and U2, can sell out NBA-sized arenas, and those shows are booked months in advance and can’t be signed by arenas on short notice.

“There’s really no way it could be made up,” said Mark Kaufman, executive director of the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority, a city-county entity that owns Oracle Arena, where the Golden State Warriors play.”

Kaufman went on to talk about the financial implications of the monthly rents charged to house these basketball games too.  For the most part, not all of these teams actually own the arenas they play in.  Those rents are paid to the cities in some cases, private individuals in others, or whoever else, and that number is primarily financed by ticket sales.  The Warriors, as the example given by the Times, owe $6 million a year regardless, and they’ll now have to come out of pocket for a good chunk of that most likely.

Maybe that’s incentive enough for owners to want to get things worked out, or maybe it’s only $6 million to a billionaire.  Either way though, the people hurt most in this whole deal will be those hoping to earn the least amount of anybody if things don’t get settled shortly.  Hopefully for their sakes things do.


About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.