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. banasy©

    Well, of course it does.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. Martin

    This NBA is going to end up in China too. China can afford these luxuries, we simply cannot. The same can be said for things like homes, social security, and creating new jobs. As a small business owner, let me assure you that it is NOT cheap to create jobs. It takes capital, and China is the capitol of capital, not US. now go save a penny at Wal-Mart for another few years and see where that gets US.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      Hey, Philip.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • commonsense

      not china's fault for your incompetence.

      October 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Martin

    And don't forget to be flying your .89 cebt plasticrap "made in china" American flag next time you see US troops returning. It warms their hearts.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      Hello, Philip.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Quick with a Quip

    Disgusting greed.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. US troop

    Shew! I made it back alive! Good to know that I risked my life so everything could go to China.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Tragic Kingdom

      If you served in any troop besides the Girl Scouts, I'm the Virgin Mary.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      Sure, Philip. You were 4-F. You never served.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. IHopper

    GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 13, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. SHOOT EM ALL

    It is unfortunate that these businesses will suffer, but that is the way it is in business. It was a gamble opening their businesses to cater to sports fans. They did well now they will have to lay back and wait....Just like any other business that goes in cycles.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. S

    Do these people have other jobs to carry them through the rest of the non-basketball year?

    October 13, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bobby

    If you can't afford to keep your home, you can't afford to go to the NBA game anyways. Trying to blame the NBA for these people losing some income is beyond stupid. It's totally ignorant of a lying, cheating, crooked government, R and D. (as opposed to just one political party being to blame, a very popular misconception)

    October 13, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      Whatever you say, Philip.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bobby

    SHOOTEM ALL thinks we are in the middle of a natural cycle. What an ignoramus. Get a clue dingbat. Crooked American's manipulate and defraud our economy. There is no ebb and flowing economy. There is an economy that can stand only so much fraud before it falls.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      Get a clue yourself, Philip.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TwM

    First off while it is true that they will miss the chance of 82 home games. Lets be realistic, 41 games for each home team, many will overlap. So it isn't as harsh as these owners are saying. The centers will both look to generate revenue stream so they will book other events once things are shut down permanently. Perhaps these event won't carry the outrageous tickep charges that Basketball games have. This would mean more available cash to spend on a good meal.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    @s:
    Typically, these types of arenas have different events throughout the year.
    In Chicago, for instance, the Bulls and Blackhawks play at the United Center, and concert events, Disney on Ice, etc. are held there when there are no sporting events going on.
    These keep the concessions, janitors, security, and other employees going.
    If the Bulls don't play, their income goes down...like your would if your hours were cut.

    @bobby:
    Did you read the article? They're not talking about you and I attending the games, they're talking about the other people who keep the stadiums *running*. See my post above.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      Bobby is really Philip. Now you know.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bobby

    Let's be realistic. We can't afford to keep our homes or to create new jobs. No way we can afford the NBA. Sell the NBA to China and be done with it. It's just a matter of time anyway.

    October 13, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      We'll get right on that, Philip.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bobby

    They are talking about the little picture. The big picture is we can't afford the NBA. China can afford the NBA. We cannot afford to even keep our homes, or to create new jobs. If you are so blind so as not to see most of our money being spent on chinese plasticrap and wars being funded by China, then you need to stick to the little picture. The other one is just too big for your brain.

    October 13, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Tragic Kingdom

      They are talking about restraunts and shops around there, too, Pal. But if it makes you feel better to sit behind a keyboard and insult strangers, have at it.
      Perchance, did you lose your job recently? You sound like you need a hug.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      It's just "Big picture Philip."

      October 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. funrun

    I blame the greedy owners! Really 50/50?? Kudos to the NBA players for standing up to these arrogant,
    money hungry jerks. I hope they force the NBA to cancel the entire season.

    October 13, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
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