The NBA Lockouts Impact on Salt Lake City Businesses

By Steven Blomquist

The NBA Lockouts Impact on Salt Lake City Businesses

The labor disagreement between the NBA and its players not only put the NBA season in jeopardy, but also raised concern in many small market areas about potential decline in revenue.
“The NBA lockout is not only affecting the players on the court but Salt Lake City businesses who rely on the Jazz fans for business” said local business and Jazz fan Mark Maybee.
Energy Solutions Arena can hold more than 19,911 fans. With the great influx of people coming downtown, many come early on game night to go to local restaurants, shop at stores and ride TRAX. All of which will see the effects.
Vincent V. Fonua, who has worked for the downtown Crown Burger for 3 years, said, “Crown burger and other restaurants will be for sure be affected by no Jazz season. It’s a usually are busiest part of the year.”
“Around 5 p.m. for about 2 hours we get a major rush,” right before the game starts around the corner from the arena. “It is great business for us. We do very well during Jazz season,” Fonua added.
“I have been a Jazz fan all my life. Going to games is a tradition I have with my brothers. We would always go Crown Burger to eat before the games and since the lockout I haven’t been to there,” said Jazz fan Mike Plant.
It’s not only the restaurants who suffer; it’s all those who rely on people coming downtown for games to make their business go.
Torry Austin, a local cab driver, said, “It’s not just restaurants that are seeing the effects. It’s parking revenue, it’s transportation revenues, it’s taxi cab rides.” Austin who has been a cab driver for over 20 years said, “Jazz season really allows me to make ends meet through the winter.”
Salt Lake is not the only city that has seen the effects of the lockout on the local economy. Fourteen other small market cities such as the Indianapolis, Memphis and Portland have also seen effects.
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was one of 14 mayors in October who sent an open letter to league owners and players pleading their case for a season to take place for the sake of the local economies.
“It has created a huge strain,” Becker said. “I’m sure there are people who these part-time jobs at the arena make a difference in their ability to make end’s meet.” He added, “There are going to be economic casualties.”
On Nov. 26, the NBA and its players agreed on terms of a new collective bargain agreement. After missing all the preseason games and first 6 weeks of 2011-2012 play has been slated to start on Dec. 25.
While the NBA players celebrate their new deal they are not the only ones jumping for joy.  Local businesses also celebrate the end of the lockout, with the hope to make up for the lost profits