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. RobCM

    While the BIG BABIES fight or how much they will get the little people who's jobs depend on them are out of work. Way to go you PIGS!

    October 13, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. will

    And lets not forget about GM. Who is going to buy all those Escalades? Or the spinning rims? Or the gold chains? Yes...the breadth of the standoff is impressive.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • marc

      You talk as if whites and other races don't wear gold or drive expenses suv's, you're a fool go back in your trailer.

      October 16, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. terrance

    one side, either the players or the owners, needs to step up and be the bigger man. i know money's important, no matter how rich you already are, but they need to think about the people who literally cannot survive if this lockout continues. afterall, wasn't it those people who made the nba rich in the first place?

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


      October 13, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • nsp

      I think its funny that the restaurant owner is complaining because they have more than one business. I know its not about the struggle but I look as the owners of business fat cats too. Owners of the Teams want to get paid, there mad that there's players living better than them. Time for the owners to take the power back from the players plain and simple.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Nick

    So where are the protesters protesting the NBA players greed?! Where's the outrage? Where's the media coverage asking these players why their so greedy? Where's the plan to raise their taxes?

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

      Huh? At least make sense when you try to troll.

      October 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dude

    How greedy does one have to be to inconvenience an entire fan base, and hurt their own communities work force, I mean completely disregard the people who make them what they are in order to make more money when players are already multimillionaires. Especially when most people in America are just trying to get by. It's unbelievable how these players stoped working because according to them they are not getting enough money, they are not getting a fair share. I believe they don't know or remember what it's like to be poor. We as fans should remind them and bring them back down to Earth where the majority of us live.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • jon

      the players were locked out by the owners. the owners are the ones crying about losing money.

      October 13, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©



    October 13, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    No Basketball means more options for better TV! This is agonna be a Great Season!

    October 13, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • marc

      Yeah, they already have a new season of HillBilly bare hand catfish fishing on there for you to watch. I'm sure someone like you would enjoy.

      October 16, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. IhateComments

    global warming?

    October 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. IhateComments2

    dont forget all those out of work prost's out there

    October 13, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Felix

      actually no games means more time for players to get laid

      October 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dude

    With all the poverty going on in the world, and these crybaby millionaire players and owners just don't seem to to have enough. They are part of the problem.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. mossman

    Anyone care how greedy the owners are? The players bring in all of the money. How much is too much for the owners?

    October 13, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  12. Kevin

    23 out of 30 teams LOSE MONEY! It's the players!! But either way – nobody owes these folks a job, or more business, or more hours, or anything else! Do these restauraunts pay the players/owners anything when the Lakers play all of those playoff games and they make lots of 'extra' money?

    October 13, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. Talgrath

    The NBA owners started this whole mess, with poorly managed teams complaining they aren't profitable; well of course you aren't profitable, you mismanaged your funds and your franchise. Maybe if the owners were competent and David Stern wasn't a moron your league would be profitable for each team.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ron

    When the college games start the NBA will be a fleeting memory. The bars and restaurants near campus will be packed. David Stern is an self important weasel. The owners are going to have to come up with a new revenue model now that cities are wising up and not falling for the stadium extortion deals of the past. Players will have to learn to survive on fewer millions. Boo Hoo!

    October 13, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mark from Louisiana

    Less than 1% of America watches the NBA, why does it rate a story?

    October 13, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • marc

      It rates because your 1% is wrong go back to watching your Nascar.

      October 16, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
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