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. Bailout!

    the government needs to bailout all these cities that lose revenue from the shutdown of the nba! Thousands of people are out of work and the owners aren't making any more. Washington needs to send money to all these teams to pay all the expenses during the player lockout, aSAP!

    October 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • equalloch

      Thank you for the laugh.

      October 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • hokahey

      Think of the poor players who be out of work and struggle through with the $10 million they made last year. That doesn't buy much dope, tattoos, cheap guns or a "crew" any more! It's hard being a role model!

      October 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bob


    October 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • propmgr

      My husband is union and makes $8/hour. That's NOT overpaid!

      October 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonelok

      I have no doubt your husband may not be overpaid, but numbers show if you are in a union your wages are signifigantly higher. Specifically with the NBA, the players have so much more power(just like the NFL) than average union workers because people specifically go to see their players(LeBron, Kobe, Dirk). A company can play hardball and hire new workers, but if the NBA did that noone would go to the games anyway. That is why the players were able to make a deal that lost the owners so d@mn much money. This will go for a while because the players don't want the paycut and the managers can't afford to pay them that much.

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

    I have a problem with the NFL, NHL, now NBA reasons some of the players come from a poor/poverty background get drafted and making more money they can shake a stick at still and not satisfied. Thank God !!! you are blessed with a job, money in your pocket, house ,some of us are living day to day, week by week, some have lost EVERYTHING!!! GROW some BALLS at like men instead of WHIMPS!!!!! This is the reason I will NEVER LOOK A NBA,NFL, and any other sport that hurt THE AMERICAN PEOPLE PASS TIME.AGAIN... WE as a NATION are BLESSED but everyone is being SELFISH it is ALL ABOUT THEM.

    October 13, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonelok

      If your were making a million a year(Awesome!) and you know that the league made 8 Billion last year... They should get paid fairly based on how much the sport makes. I don't know if I have any faith in NBA players being able to negotiate a labor-agreement. At least Drew Breeze and Jeff Saturday looked the part wearing suits to the meetings...

      October 13, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    Stupid story, I just like reading the comments.

    October 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • DannyBuck20

      Amen to that

      October 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. We don't need NBA

    Owners and players, when debating one or two percentage points of total revenue, assume that the revenue stream will remain constant. We the fans have a voice, through the money we spend on tickets and memorabilia, and the TV choices we make, and media. The NBA needs to know from us that while the squabble over percentages, we don't have to hand them a dime.

    October 13, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LT

    LOL spoken like a true coward.

    October 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • DannyBuck20

      Work?? Are you kidding me?

      October 13, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. captain doc poundz

    @rider83.. karma sucks so remember that next time you get beat up or your girl leaves you for a colored man..

    October 13, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Humble Dude

      Athletes are overpaid period! America and other countries deserve to collaspe for paying these acrobats these outlandish salaries! From the ghetto life to the the glamerous! Most athletes are not humble anyway buying homes the size of Walmart Supercenters! Give me a break!

      October 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • jca

      they're not overpaid in comparison to how much money they generate, if anything they're underpaid. Just Lebron James or Kobe showing up to a stadium easily generates a lot of money not only for that venue but surrounding areas.

      October 16, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • hillman

      oh geez an prob the girl is fat on welfare an the only reason they would want these girls is to deal there crack out of there houses "for a cover" and becuz they give thses white girls a sob story oh everybody hates me becuz im black and im all ways being pulled over by the cops cuz im black that isnt the reason at all its becuz ur boys go on there videos and brag about smoking weed and shooting up peoples houses in there music videos oh and having a chopper and we all know what chopper means it measn an ak47 in ur car.

      October 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • shhh...

      If you don't know perhaps it is wise to be quiet, the stereotypical rhetoric coming from your post isn't in slightest bit relivant to the discussion at hand. If you want to blast "black folks", then do it on your own website, KKK.com or something, not here. No man is an island and if you live your life the way you speak, I feel sorry for you. Karma has alot more momentum when it comes back around, judging by the comment you have made here, I think KARMA is gonna have fun with you.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • marc

      Yeah right......You lost your girlfriend or wife to one of them didn't you.

      October 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • marc

      Yeah right.....you lost you're girlfriend or wife to one of them didn't you.

      October 17, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • marc

      I bet you only said that to him because you lost your wife to one of those BBC colored men didn't you Capt.

      October 16, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©


    Thanks for the laugh!

    October 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. W

    Did not take long for the lowlife bigots to come out. Not an athlete are you???

    October 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sean j

    Players need their own league,
    no owners, investors only
    Host cities get a piece (to help pay for the stadiums the fans build through their tax dollars or consider the stadium their investment).
    Take Cain's advice and leave the plantation. and so much more can be done.

    October 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonelok

      The NBA only has 4-5 teams that can make money on their own, LAL, MIA, BOS and a few others. Your "players only" league would consist of 4 teams. Great league.

      October 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sci1

    Work it out and go back to work. People who really need the money are suffering.

    October 13, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • DannyBuck20

      You call what they do work??

      October 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. girl2

    I guess the "occupy" do not consider the NBA players along with other athletes and high profile entertainers (singers and actors) part of the 1% greedy population. A raise in pay to the NBA players will be passed on to the 99% population by means of tickets to attend the game or cable tv fees. People have lost their jobs with very little chances to get another and these guys are protesting that they are not getting enough millions for throwing the ball through the hoop.

    October 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. The Fix is in

    This is just another NBA stunt. The NBA has been legally fixing the outcomes of games for years. LEGALLY! Those aren't "stupid" calls NBA reefs make, they are ref's following NBA orders! Read all about it in this book: "The Fix is In". Even NASCAR is fixed. 🙂

    October 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. joe

    Who cares....I'm tired of all these overpaid prima-donnas slam dunking and hanging on the rim like --. I will never watch these games.

    October 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. YeahBoi

    Cancel the whole season so we can see how many players are living outside of their means and file for bankruptcy.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ilovelamp55

      This is EXACTLY what I was thinking!!!

      November 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
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