How the NBA lockout hurts Charlotte's economy

How the NBA lockout hurts Charlotte's economy


by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on October 11, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 12 at 9:31 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Lost NBA games means lost money to folks who rely upon those games in Charlotte to earn a living.

Tuesday, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced the first two weeks of the regular season are canceled due to the ongoing lockout. (An interactive look at the NBA lockout)

The average home game for the Charlotte Bobcats draws thousands of fans.

You'll find dozens of employees working inside the arena on things like concessions and souvenirs.

Games also provide customers to Brixx Pizza across the street from Time Warner Cable Arena.

With the first two weeks of the NBA season wiped out due to a lockout, all three could lose money.

League-wide, teams will lose $83 million in ticket sales, according to the Associated Press.

People who normally work those games now won't be working.  Neither the Bobcats nor the arena would tell us the number of people impacted or the lost wages.

But tweets on CNBC put it in perspective.  Folks who work in NBA arenas around the country are saying there goes Christmas, car payments, college tuition and mortgage payments.

At Brixx, one game on average means an extra $1,000 per night compared to non-game nights.

General Manager Mark Honeycutt doesn't think it will mean layoffs.

"It might keep me from hiring more staff,” he said.  "It's going to hurt the service and the bartenders and the people at the arena which are also our guests as well.  It's going to hurt them a lot more than people realize."

"It's not something I wanted to hear,” said No Grease Exclusive salon co-owner Timothy Doe Jr.

Doe sees folks outside also trying to earn a buck during Bobcats games.

"You see a lot of vendors selling flags or food.  You see that out here, the t-shirts, the jerseys,” he said.

Doe added an already strong customer base means fewer games won't make or break his business.  But he feels for the people working all around him, especially if this drags out past two weeks.

"For the people that actually work in the arena, I think it will be a detrimental issue of people not being able to work.  I would assume you'd lose a lot of jobs you'd normally have if the season was here.”