The ongoing NBA lockout has so far resulted in the cancellation of a preseason and the first 100 games of the regular season. If an agreement is not reached between the players association and the owners, it is likely the NBA commissioner will be forced to cancel two more weeks of the regular season – about 102 additional games – setting the start date for the season at November 28th.
It’s easy to look at the lockout from the outside and look down on quibbling millionaires (or in some cases, billionaires). However, the lockout is about much more than the checks of a few hundred players. Here are five broader reasons why you should care:
The NBA generates about $3 billion a year – that’s a lot of soft pretzels! Not all of it is players’ salaries, though. There is such a thing as “basketball related income”; in fact, that’s the actual reason why the NBA is locked out. This related income refers to the arenas and the vendors in those arenas, and as long as the NBA is locked out those places cannot function. CNN reported on the ways in which local shops and venues have already been affected.
Hugely popular franchises like the Chicago Bulls pull in fans from both their franchise cities and surrounding areas. Chicago hotels that would normally accommodate these travelling fans stand to lose millions if the season doesn’t start soon. Earlier this year when the Bulls made the playoffs, that alone brought 30 million into the Chicago economy.
Networks that broadcast NBA games stand to lose incredible amounts of ad revenue money – as much as $1.25 billion according to Adweek. That figure is based on the loss of an entire season, and though the sides can’t seem to agree on anything, it’s not likely that the entire season will be flushed away. Who wants to watch sports TV when there aren’t any sports on? Not willing to shed a tear for the networks? Without basketball to fill the schedule, you’ll be forced to watch terrible reruns of cancelled shows!
When the NFL lockout was happening earlier this year, there was a genuine concern about the safety of the nation. NFL star Ray Lewis put it this way:
“Do this research if we don’t have a season — watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game. There’s too many people that live through us, people live through us. Yeah, walk in the streets, the way I walk the streets, and I’m not talking about the people you see all the time.”
An ongoing lockout will likely result in a rise in rampant and unchecked crime in the streets. So if you don’t want to get stuck for your paper in a dark alley, you better hope the season starts again. And quick.