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©

    I am talking about one article, Bobby. I see the big picture, but to fix anything, you have to start small and work your way up.
    What is your solution, anyway?
    Since, obviously, your gigantic brain can wrap around things mere mortals can't.
    Explain it to us little people, can you?

    October 13, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      You knowbetter than to expect an answerfrom Philip, especially to you!

      October 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Conan the Librarian

    here in MN there is a direct correlation between rowdiness/mayhem and NBA games – especially at night
    just check the police reports
    they can cancel the whole season – the NBA is what is wrong with professional sports in America
    the NBA culture is sending the wrong message to the youth – they need to stay in school and graduate
    and as long as the NCAA is a farm system for the NBA there are going to be problems

    October 13, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. Trix

    Martin=Bobby=Same

    October 13, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Pal

    Several NBA players like Stephan Marbury have already signed with Chinese teams. Kobe Bryant would of, but he couldn't squeek out of his contract. Don't you get it? American's have lost and are losing their homes to the federal reserve, who now owns Harley Davidson too! It's not the country with the biggest army that wins...it's the one with the strongests economy. Bottom line: China can afford the NBA, and if enough hicks keep saving pennies at Wal-Mart, China will own NASCAR before long. This isn't about a few NBA side jobs. It's about America being sold down the river by her own government and corporations.

    October 13, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Tragic Kingdom

      Hey, Philip. More new names, huh?

      October 13, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Tragic Kingdom

      Who's next as a username? Abraham? John?

      October 13, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      Maybe they'll make the game and everything that surrounds it better. Who knows....

      October 13, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      Good call, Trix. Yep, it's him!

      October 13, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pal

    When one focuses on a personality RATHER than on a principle, one is stupid.

    October 13, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Tragic Kingdom

      When one can't get past the fact that the personality is an obnoxious poster, who insults people to make a point, the message is frequently overlooked. To think anything less is stupid.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tragic Kingdom

    Ahhhhhh, we see now. We know who the troll is.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      What tookyou so long? lol

      October 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dude

    Greedy players and owners who make millions a year and are willing to sacrifice the livelyhood of the lower to middle class so they can get a bigger piece of the pie. They don't care about them or the fans as long they get more money. Players and owners are forgetting fans pay their salary, maybe we should stop watching games and going to arenas so we can hurt their pockets, see how they like it. Fans have more power than they think, stop watching and paying for expensive arena tickets. Hurt them right back where it hurts in their pockets!

    October 13, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. bud

    What is the NBA? A bunch of whining rich brats that have the skills to play basketball or flip burgers. That's about it. And the owners, who the fans are fortunate enough to have, put up big money hoping to make a return on their investment. Get real folks. This is not a sport. This is entertainment. Stop supporting it.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • David M

      Now hold on there, Bud. Basketball players probably do not have the skills to flip burgers. They have one skill, and that's how to play hoops. Take that away from 95% of them, and they are lost.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • DannyBuck20

      Absolutley correct. It's all they ever done. You can bet their Escalades on that.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • marc

      You sound like your talking about Hockey players

      October 16, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. the Truth...

    ...always seems obnoxious to those who prefer the lie. The truth is Americans can't afford new homes nor can they afford the NBA. We spent our future on wars and occupations while China capitalized off of it. No matter how you say it, America is obese.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      We know, Philip. We'll just take your word on it because you said so.

      October 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    @Trix:
    Ah.
    Thank you.
    It's clear to me now why he felt it necessary to insult me and everybody else.

    Some wrote this to me recently. I am going to share it.

    "@b: b, b, b… When they just put ‘@’ somebody.. Or some topic.. No name.. They are what i wipe off my ass.. they are not people.

    You need a name to stand for anything.. That’s right, Banasy. B, i am using you here to represent many.. I would list them, but i fear i will leave someone out..

    I’m callin’ all you people out. You people that use a topic or @user as a user name instead of some identifyable monicker. Stand up and be counted. Or suck it.

    Is it an anonymous thing? Am i not anonymous enough for you? YET, i can stand for something?
    Hell's bells."

    Thank you, LIT. 😉

    October 13, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Pest ConTroll

      Could you be talking about....oh, I don't know, maybe Philip?

      October 13, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dude

    The players and owners greed is blatant. They're hurting the economy at the worst possible time. They do this just to see who gets a few more millions at the end of the day. Like they don't already live great. What? If the players don't 53% cut of the billions the NBA makes they wouldn't be able to afford cup holders in their Ferraris, or Lamborghinis.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Until the NBA puts equal opportunity policies in place to ensure an equitable distribution of players by race and ethnicity, I say we boycott it altogether. No more racist policies that give preferential treatment to only one ethnic group.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • ShagzP

      I wish you people would STFU. Stop hating the NBA because it has so many blacks. Why don't you hate on Football or Baseball with all the Latinos.... you don't hear us complaining that their aren't enough Blacks in Hockey do you? If you don't have the skills, you won't make it. Bottom line.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • DannyBuck20

      ShagzP......you call jumping 40 ft and smashing a rubber ball thru a hoop a skill? Give me a break. Keep worshipping these thugs and feeding them your money and the rest of us will go back to the real world.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • marc

      Maybe that will happen the day Nascar and Hockey do the same thing.

      October 16, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. mejazzbo

    I feel for the small support business and stadium employees. But for the millionaires fussing with millionaires, not so much.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mark L.

    Your article doesn't mention the Los Angeles Kings. They play at Staples Center, too.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. El Blanco Dude

    With the NBA players not getting paychecks, who is going to support the local drug dealers?

    Trickle-down economics in action!

    October 13, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • marc

      Don't worry the white Nascar drivers and Hockey players have that covered.

      October 16, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
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