As news breaks today about the possibility of no 2011/2012 NBA season due to labor strife between players and owners, I started to think more about what businesses might be affected by no Chicago basketball. Vendors, hotels and local businesses will definitely be impacted. But who else? I've put a list together below. Feel free to share more in the comment section:
Newspaper reporters: Do you continue to pay for beat reporters or do you cut your staff? The sports departments at the major newspapers already have beat reporters for the other sports in town. So what do you do with the team assigned to cover the Bulls? Yes, you have some lock-out, off the court storylines, but not enough to justify several reporters. If I were the box score guy, I'd be worried. Or could you imagine if you are a Bulls themed blog?
Suburban Sports Bars: No brainer, but even restaurants and bars away from the UC will have a harder time getting butts in seats come February (after football). Imagine what no basketball does for the neighborhood bar, or perhaps suburban sports bars? Will people come eat wings to watch Motocross?
Private Air Travel: Think of all the flights that NBA teams take. Some private jet company just went out of business just thinking about it.
Commercial Advertising/Big Brand Business: Do we really want to see the new Kobe Bryant or Dwight Howard commercial if there is no basketball? Cause you know those commercials are coming soon. Just imagine the disinterest and downright disdain for the over-the-top Blake Griffin Kia commercial when it comes out and you are watching said Motocross. Not good for the owners, nor players. You got yours. What about ours?
Anyone Who Lives in Oklahoma City: Bummer.
The Matadors: What can this overweight dance crew do? They are no longer needed for antics outside the Bears games (thanks to bucket drummers). They had worked so hard to make it to the professional level, and now they are unemployed. Are they available for birthday parties? Maybe they can go on tour with the Blues Brothers impersonators?
But it might make sense for The Matadors to join the strike. Here's what they were getting paid in 2004:
For each performance, the men get two tickets, parking and a voucher for a food item and drink at selected concession stands. They also received Matadors jerseys and T-shirts, and like the ladies, they're starting to make paid corporate appearances.
Stacey King: The color commentator for the Bulls games on Comcast/WGN was just hitting his stride. He was developing a following in Chicago, with Tumblrs and Twitter accounts dedicated to his antics. What does King do to keep up his presence in this market? Arena Football?
The United Center Element: If anyone has ever tried to walk back downtown, you know what I'm talking about. The walk between Wood and Ashland is lined with panhandlers and street movers & shakers, stopping at nothing to sell you something or put suburbanites in open cabs. It's pretty aggressive. Without the Bulls game, what will they do in their spare time? Head to Rosemont to bother patrons leaving the Allstate Arena after the Wolves game? Or maybe they could join Occupy Chicago? Not to protest, but to help the protesters find cabs and equip them with neon necklaces (this reference was for you, reader with the "Occupy Chicago" Google alert).
Local Transportation Agencies: The surrounding buses that take you to the UC are jam-packed before game-time. Cabs will lose big fares from people afraid of the United Center public transit options, and pedi-cabs and bar buses won't have enough business to make it worth their while to hang out. Not to mention Metra, Pace and tollroads. We are talking big money here. Somehow, I'm sure the lack of funds due to the NBA lockout will be passed on to us.
Twitter: Will we end up caring at all about professional basketball tweets without actual games? I have a feeling it will be: "TajGibson22: I ate a ton of eggs this morning! Going for run, gonna catch Eastern Mich game." Retweet, please.