October 13th, 2011
07:10 AM ET

NBA standoff threatens livelihoods of workers at stadiums, nearby shops

At the Farm of Beverly Hills restaurant just down the street from the Staples Center, workers are bracing for smaller paychecks now that the first two weeks of the NBA’s regular season have been canceled.

During basketball season, the restaurant depends on Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers fans for about a third of its revenue.

No games means fewer customers and fewer hours for restaurant workers, CEO Fran Berger says. Her Staples Center location is one of three restaurants her company owns in the Los Angeles area, so she doesn’t plan to lay off any of her 200 employees. But she says their hours will be cut.

Although convention and concert business will help soften the blow for the 17 restaurants operating in the L.A. Live complex next to the Staples Center, Berger says, “there are not many things that can fill up a 20,000-seat arena for 82 nights a year."

She was banking on a big year this coming basketball season because of expectations that both the Lakers and Clippers would make the playoffs, meaning several more revenue-generating home games.

At the Staples Center, more than 1,000 unionized cooks, bartenders, ushers and janitors are in even more precarious positions because they don’t get paid unless there’s an event at the arena.

For many, the biggest fear is not being able to work the minimum 1,100 annual hours required to qualify for health insurance.

Even NBA Commissioner David Stern, when he announced Monday night that the first two weeks of the season would be canceled, acknowledged that the thousands of people other than owners and players who depend on professional basketball for their livelihoods will be the hardest hit by the labor dispute.

At a time when the economy is struggling to create jobs, slashing pay for thousands of low- to moderate-income workers will be a difficult public relations hurdle for the NBA to overcome once the dispute is settled.

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Filed under: Basketball • Sports
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. DannyBuck20

    I could care less if they never play again. It's nothing but a bunch of thugs in a glorified jumping contest anymore. I seen some highlights on ESPN the other day and I didn't know you could palm the ball while taking 5 to 10 steps in Basketball now. 5 to 10 steps depending on your popularity status as to how many they can actually take. I for one refuse to fund their Escalades, drugs habits, infidelities and guns.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dizzy

    Nobody cares about the NBA anyway... Stay locked out...

    October 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JohnKozlawski

    Are you on the owners side or on the players side? Join your cause at Everysquare.com and show the powerful few the power of many!

    October 14, 2011 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Albro

    The world needs to be reminded occassionally that they do NOT NEED sports. Sports are AMUSEMENTS, not necessities. We pay these steroid-soaked demigods more moeny per year than most people earn in a lifetime, for PLAYING GAMES! Meanwhile our schools have to make do with less and less, and that's OK with everybody who sits and whines about having to do without sports: BULL!!!

    October 14, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • EH

      I couldnt agree more!!

      October 14, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • hillman

      they need to do away with sports its gotten out of hand there is more and more violence starting to happen and alls they are gang memebers wearing a jersey and thugs.

      October 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • JDubb

      Its nice too see someone say the same thing I have been thinking for quite a long time. Thank You

      October 15, 2011 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
    • marc

      Yeah, first thing they need to do is end Hockey and Nascar.

      October 16, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • loc

      It's funny how Americans cry that we have no sports but almost every day we have military members dying and losing limbs that they will never get back for less money then, what football players and basketball players make in one single game for about an hour of most of the time poor effort games. oh ok so they practice playing also before games, well we the marines practice also everyday to defend our country and yet most of America can’t tell you the marine that just earned the medal of honor but they can tell you how many points lebron and kobe score every game now that’s just sad . Open your eyes, the sports superstars don’t care about you they want your money they would never hang out with you and be your best friend, lol. The military cares about you, we fight for you and our families and brothers that we stand next to on our patrols. The military men and women are the real superstars not phony sports figures. Now, OPEN YOUR EYES.

      October 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RockinRandy

    Here is what to do, put a 1 million dollar cap on the wages for playing per year, no more than 2 per team at that wage, 3 x $750,000 the rest at $500,000 or less. Have a new draft out of the players that want to play and lower the price of tickets so it is more of a college atmosphere. I watch college BB but not the Pros. It should not be for the love of money but for the love of the game.

    October 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • marc

      I think they should do the same thing for Hockey players.

      October 16, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. Freeminds

    over payed goofs!!!!!!!

    October 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. david b lee

    What is the use of blogging here and complaining that nba players are overpaid, there will always be stupid fans who will go out of their way just to watch someone grab their privates and scream because they made a basket or touchdown

    October 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jtd

    One thing that has overlooked is the marketing value of these athletes. They are walking, talking billboards for large corporations who rake in millions of dollars by slapping brand names on these people. These athletes make more money off of contracts with Nike, Under Armor, Adidas, etc. Its convenient to throw the athletes under the bus, but who puts these athletes in that position? Stinkin' rich business owners sitting in their private skyboxes, thats who! You think LeBron went to Nike and asked them for sponsorship? They threw millions of dollars at him from moment one, and in turn make millions off of him. This goes much deeper than athletes wanting bigger paychecks.

    October 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
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