Monday Morning Point Guard: NBA Lockout Bad For Business
The Denver Nuggets were supposed to begin their 2011 campaign on Thursday night with an inner-division clash against the Portland Trailblazers. The game did not exist.
Instead, billionaire owners are still arguing with millionaire players about who should be richer, and it appears as though the rift between the two parties is still very wide.
It’s impossible to know the specific inner-workings of what is being negotiated or when an agreement will be reached. But there is one certainty about this entire fiasco: the NBA Lockout is bad for business. Now that the reality of the NBA lockout has led to the cancellation of the beginning of the season, the ripple effect is being felt by thousands of people across America. And the loss of the first month is maybe just the tip of the cancellation iceberg.
It’s not just the players, coaches, trainers, and various team personnel who are not receiving paychecks. How about all the food vendors in the stadiums? What about the advertising and marketing agencies associated with the teams? Bars and restaurants encircling stadiums across the country depend on reliable revenue on game days. There are plenty of empty bar stools these days at Brooklyn’s and Braun’s in downtown Denver.
Let’s be frank. Stan Kroenke, even with the current work stoppage, does not have to worry about his next mortgage payment. But the same cannot be said of some of his employees. Pepsi Center workers are directly feeling the effect of the lockout. I have a buddy who serves the suites at the Pepsi Center year round. With the prospect of having no NBA games all season, he predicted he stands to lose 30 % of his annual income. That’s a devastating financial blow, and that’s just one example.
I have another friend who travels around the country as an independent contractor, working for various promotional enterprises. One of his main bread n’ butters is his gig on the ESPN bus that tours the country. With no NBA games to cover, my boy will carry on this year without the income from his main moneymaker.
And it’s not just people who work for or in conjunction with the NBA that are losing out. What about members of the media that are paid to cover hoops? My Monday Morning Point Guard, for gosh sakes, is about the lockout. Although I’m happy you are reading, it’s not as fun as dissecting George Karl’s game strategy or pontificating about how good rookie Kenneth Faried will be.
We are not the only media outlet fishing for new story ideas. The front page of the sports section of the Denver Post featured an article about a video game simulation. I’m not joking. It was a FRONT PAGE article detailing an XBOX game of NBA 2K12 between Benjamin Hochman (the Post’s beat writer for the NUGS) and Nate Kreckman (a local radio host.) Creative, well-written, offbeat article, but still kind of depressing. You know times are tough when the Nuggets beat writer is writing articles about him playing XBOX.
Who is the biggest loser regarding this entire situation? The fans. Ratings for the NBA last year were as high as they have ever been. The league was incredibly popular, and the entire postseason was especially captivating. So how did the NBA reward their loyal followers? By pretty much canceling the next season. Even if the two sides do come to an agreement, the season is going to be shortened and awkward. Some Nuggets have already jumped ship, and are taking their talents overseas, because they saw this lockout coming. I don’t blame Kenyon Martin for taking a contract in China. He actually has fans coming to watch him play. And I’m sure China is an ideal place to add to his always-growing collection of tattoos.
So as the billionaires continue to bicker with the millionaires, more and more people get used to the idea of life without the NBA. Each day the lockout is extended, the NBA loses more fans. With every day lost, businesses that rely on the daily operation of basketball suffer even more.
Even if an agreement is reached within the near future, serious damage has already been done.
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