NBA Lockout- What It Could Mean Long Term

The NBA officially locked out the players this past week after a new Collective Bargaining Agreement could not be reached with the owners and the players union. After months of negotiation, what had been speculated finally happened and the NBA is currently in a work stoppage. Along with the NFL, the NBA is another major sport that is experiencing a lockout.

While NBA games have not officially been cancelled yet, talks of cancelling part or the entire season have already begun. With any lockout, there is no guarantee or timetable as to how long it will take to have the issues resolved or settled. With no end in sight, the chances of games being cancelled are high and there is no guarantee that any NBA team will take the court this season.

With any work stoppage in a major sport, there is always backlash and anger from the people who support the teams and the players the most; the fans. Many fans pay good money for tickets and season tickets each year in different NBA cities. Through thick and thin, many fans still pay money to support their favorite NBA teams and a work stoppage usually causes ill feelings from those who support the NBA teams and players. Some fans view lockouts or strikes as arguments between greedy owners and players and may be turned off from supporting that particular sport ever again.

Whenever a fan base is turned off or upset about a work stoppage, there is no guarantee those fans will spend money again. Many fans upset over the 1994 MLB strike that saw the cancellation of the World Series still carry angry feelings to this day and those who missed out on NHL hockey during their 2005 lockout have been hesitant to spend money on NHL games. Work stoppages do not make the fans happy and the NBA could see a decline in attendance and support if a lockout continues for a long period of time.

For a lot of NBA cities, game nights are an opportunity to bring in revenue to local businesses. Restaurants and bars typically make money of pre and post game meals from fans and parking garages typically get lots of business from people going to the games. Hotels will often bring in revenue from the games if fans from other cities come to town. With each NBA game that is not played, lots of the local businesses lose out on this opportunity to bring in revenue and many will probably see business go down as a result.

On another note, a lockout could force the NBA to look at issues that needed to be addressed before and never changed. Issues involving player contracts, schedules, rookie salary caps, and certain rules could be addressed and finally sorted out. Many who followed the NHL lockout believe that shutting down for a year forced the league to institute a salary cap (which has helped smaller market teams), address rules that have increased scoring and speed of the game (getting rid of the two line pass rule) and rework TV contracts (the NHL has done well with the Versus Network and NBC). This lockout could force the NBA to address certain issues and finally make a change for the better.

With no end in sight, the NBA lockout will continue and the aftermath of what’s finally decided has yet to come.

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~ by jeffrsabo on July 2, 2011.

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