NBA Lockout Will Be an Economic Air Ball for Other Sports

NBA Lockout Will Be an Economic Air Ball for Other Sports Nobody wins -- except maybe basketball fans' savings accounts. Those fans and the money that the now-shuttered NBA stands to lose will not migrate to another sport.

Hundreds of millions of dollars will remain on the sidelines. Spectators will take a long timeout.

Sure, there are alternatives but ...

College basketball? Rah rah, sis boom nah.

Hockey? The thought leaves Andrew Zimbalist cold.

Zimbalist, a noted sports economist at Smith College, says other games might see small bumps in attendance and TV ratings, but not enough to make a difference. Many fans already pressed by the ailing economy will simply sit out the lost season.

"Given the economic circumstance, people might say this is a blessing, telling themselves 'I can't afford it anyway,'" Zimbalist said.

The fate of the entire NBA season plunged into doubt Monday when players rejected the owners' latest bargaining proposal and announced they were suing the league. Hundreds of games have already been cancelled due to the lockout, and hope is fading for a resolution.

No New Ice Age

The National Hockey League is by far the smallest of the major U.S. sports leagues, so any chance to expand its brand is usually welcomed.

Without the popular Lakers and their star, Kobe Bryant, hogging all the attention in L.A., the NHL's Los Angeles Kings are enjoying a monopoly as the lone tenant of the Staples Center, the arena they normally share with the Lakers and Clippers.

Chris McGowan, the Kings' chief operating officer, said he disliked using the term 'opportunity' to describe the potential to capitalize on another sport's problems, because the NHL will face its own contract confrontation after the season. "The best thing we can do to grab new fans is to provide an entertaining and contending team combined with quality customer service," he said.

The NHL was the last major league to lose a season to labor strife, in 2004-05. The impact then on NBA attendance was minimal, according to reports. In fact, fans' overall disgust with pro sports at the time might have decreased interest in basketball. In hockey-crazy Toronto, the NBA's Raptors did not have the NHL's Maple Leafs to contend with during the lockout, but they drew fewer fans than in the previous year, according to the Denver Post. Even the 2004-05 Lakers, coming off an appearance in the NBA Finals, experienced an attendance drop without the hockey Kings in action.

Hockey's power play on the major winter-sport dollar probably won't lead to greater popularity this time around, Zimbalist said, because of the demographic divide between NBA and NHL fans. Besides, hockey's no bargain, with an average ticket price of more than $51, compared to the NBA's $48, according to the Team Marketing Report.

A few hoops fans might turn to tennis, golf or European soccer on television, he added, or perhaps spend the savings on consumer goods such as iPhones. "It's possible that the money could be widely diffused among other entertainment options," he said.

Back to School Sales

College basketball fits the bill as a cheaper sport alternative. It's also a more natural outlet for NBA fans -- it is, after all, the same game.

St. John's University often plays in the same building as the NBA's New York Knicks -- the newly renovated Madison Square Garden. The school took a step toward returning to prominence by making the NCAA tournament last season, and it has a charismatic coach in Steve Lavin. Tickets are reasonably priced, too. Seats for St. John's Thursday game against 16th-ranked Arizona at the Garden were going for $15 on StubHub early Tuesday, compared to the Knicks' average of $89.

DailyFinance asked the school if it had a plan to win over some of those left out in the cold by the NBA. "We would certainly welcome NBA and all New York sports fans to come to Madison Square Garden ... to experience St. John's basketball games," replied Chris Monasch, St. John's athletics director. "St. Johns is collaborating with the Garden staff to promote ticket sales."

But the NBA-to-college transition is a tough one for many hardcore pro hoops aficionados. In Los Angeles, Gary Romanik, a Lakers season ticket holder, has access to UCLA and USC college basketball, but they might as well be playing in another state. Romanik is ready to take the season off. "It is a great opportunity to reduce my entertainment expenses while I attempt to start or buy a business," he said.

Any sport courting a broader audience in the face of the NBA shutdown will require a subtle strategy, sports economist Zimbalist advised. That means raising positive awareness by promoting its own brand, not referring to the lockout. "That shows weakness," he said. "Fans can figure it out for themselves."

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bobby

who cares !!!!!!!!! the nba has gone the way of tennis and polo !!!!!!!!!!! no one cares !!!!!!!!!!!!!! loosers !!!!!!!!!!!!

November 18 2011 at 7:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
charger383

The NBA can go away and never return

November 17 2011 at 2:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dugerman85

Oh really, the NBA 's on strike or locked out? I didn't notice.

November 17 2011 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve Kay

NBA LOCKOUT 2011

911 Operator: What is your emergency?
NBA Player X: I’m locked out and I cannot get in.
911 Operator: Sir….. Slow down, I have a hard time understanding you… Now… you said… what?
NBA Player X: Huffs and puffs. …Sorry, I sound so frantic, but I’ve been locked out for a long time--- I need to get in.
911 Operator: Where are you? Get in where?
Player X: I’m at home.
911 Operator: I’m confused! You said you were locked out? …Of where?
Player X: I’m locked out of my job!
911 Operator: Locked out of your job? Why don’t you knock on the door and ask them to let you in?
Player X: You don’t understand!
911 Operator: Sir, do you have a key?
Player X: Yes, I do, but, it’s not that kind of lockout.
911 Operator: Oh, it’s a combination lock?
Player X: No, you don’t understand. …I have three mortgages, credit card bills, four car payments due--- I’m starting to get behind in my payments.
911 Operator: Sir, what is your boss’s name?
Player X: David Stern, He’s the commissioner; he’s the one that locked us out!
911 Operator: The commissioner locked you out?
Player X: Yes, for over three months! Today was the start of the regular season! That’s why I want to get back in!
911 Operator: Did you ask to be let in?
Player X: Yes, but he has new conditions….
911 Operator: Should I call a locksmith for you?
Player X: What’s a locksmith going to do for me?
911 Operator: He may be able to pick the lock, or make you a master key… Oh, I forgot, it’s a combination lock, correct?
Player X: You’re right about a combination, but it’s not what you think. The owners want a new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), with a 50/50 split in basketball related income and they’re talking about de-certifying the union. I have to get back to work!
911 Operator: Oh, you’re a basketball player and you’re locked out, off the court?
Player X: Yes, you could say that!
911 Operator: Can you ask the commissioner, Mr. Stern to let you back on?
Player X: Our lead negotiator, Billy Hunter has made all kinds of requests and compromises, but he won’t budge.
911 Operator: The Commissioner--- he’s a tough cookie, huh?
Player X: His name say’s it all---- Stern.
911 Operator: So, they’re making you jump over hurdles and through hoops?
Player X: Yes!
911 Operator: I find that if you jiggle it, or use a bobby pin, that may work?
Player X: It’s not about a lock, it’s about being locked out!
911 Operator: This lockout, it’s about money?
Player X: Now you understand!
911 Operator: It always is!
Player X: What should I do?
911 Operator: I think I can help! Let me ask you a question?
Player X: Go ahead.
911 Operator: You’ve heard of the Golden Rule, right?
Player X: Sure, I go to church, it means: Treat others as you want to be treated!
911 Operator: Well, you’re right, but not totally. You understand how it relates to church and religion, but the NBA is not a church and surely, it is not a religion!
Player X: Yeah….?
911 Operator: When you are dealing with owners that are billionaires, all they think about is…. the bottom line---- making money.
Player X: Yeah, so what does that have to do with the “Golden Rule?”
911 Operator: To billionaires, the “Golden Rule” is: “He, who has the gold, makes the rules!” So, my advice to you, in order to, “Get back in,” is: Take your best offer Mr. Stern offered and take it!

Were Out!
Signed,
The NBA Players Association
Copyright 2011 Steve Kay

November 17 2011 at 1:02 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Steve Kay

NBA LOCKOUT 2011

911 Operator: What is your emergency?
NBA Player X: I’m locked out and I cannot get in.
911 Operator: Sir….. Slow down, I have a hard time understanding you… Now… you said… what?
NBA Player X: Huffs and puffs. …Sorry, I sound so frantic, but I’ve been locked out for a long time--- I need to get in.
911 Operator: Where are you? Get in where?
Player X: I’m at home.
911 Operator: I’m confused! You said you were locked out? …Of where?
Player X: I’m locked out of my job!
911 Operator: Locked out of your job? Why don’t you knock on the door and ask them to let you in?
Player X: You don’t understand!
911 Operator: Sir, do you have a key?
Player X: Yes, I do, but, it’s not that kind of lockout.
911 Operator: Oh, it’s a combination lock?
Player X: No, you don’t understand. …I have three mortgages, credit card bills, four car payments due--- I’m starting to get behind in my payments.
911 Operator: Sir, what is your boss’s name?
Player X: David Stern, He’s the commissioner; he’s the one that locked us out!
911 Operator: The commissioner locked you out?
Player X: Yes, for over three months! Today was the start of the regular season! That’s why I want to get back in!
911 Operator: Did you ask to be let in?
Player X: Yes, but he has new conditions….
911 Operator: Should I call a locksmith for you?
Player X: What’s a locksmith going to do for me?
911 Operator: He may be able to pick the lock, or make you a master key… Oh, I forgot, it’s a combination lock, correct?
Player X: You’re right about a combination, but it’s not what you think. The owners want a new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), with a 50/50 split in basketball related income and they’re talking about de-certifying the union. I have to get back to work!
911 Operator: Oh, you’re a basketball player and you’re locked out, off the court?
Player X: Yes, you could say that!
911 Operator: Can you ask the commissioner, Mr. Stern to let you back on?
Player X: Our lead negotiator, Billy Hunter has made all kinds of requests and compromises, but he won’t budge.
911 Operator: The Commissioner--- he’s a tough cookie, huh?
Player X: His name say’s it all---- Stern.
911 Operator: So, they’re making you jump over hurdles and through hoops?
Player X: Yes!
911 Operator: I find that if you jiggle it, or use a bobby pin, that may work?
Player X: It’s not about a lock, it’s about being locked out!
911 Operator: This lockout, it’s about money?
Player X: Now you understand!
911 Operator: It always is!
Player X: What should I do?
911 Operator: I think I can help! Let me ask you a question?
Player X: Go ahead.
911 Operator: You’ve heard of the Golden Rule, right?
Player X: Sure, I go to church, it means: Treat others as you want to be treated!
911 Operator: Well, you’re right, but not totally. You understand how it relates to church and religion, but the NBA is not a church and surely, it is not a religion!
Player X: Yeah….?
911 Operator: When you are dealing with owners that are billionaires, all they think about is…. the bottom line---- making money.
Player X: Yeah, so what does that have to do with the “Golden Rule?”
911 Operator: To billionaires, the “Golden Rule” is: “He, who has the gold, makes the rules!” So, my advice to you, in order to, “Get back in,” is: Take your best offer Mr. Stern offered and take it!

Were Out!
Signed,
The NBA Players Association
Copyright 2011 Steve Kay

November 17 2011 at 1:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
racurrry

Pro sports players are only in it for the money; not for the love of the sport. They couldn't get a job flipping hamburgers at NcDonalds. What a greedy bunch of people. Baseball pitchers are getting 15 million a year which equates to about 1 million per game. I'd rather watch the college players. They are not pros, make fewer mistakes and they are more exciting. Watched a pro football game the othe day; 20 penalties; are these really pros? Receivers make 6 million a year which equates to about $100,000.00 per catch. C'mon man, give me a freaking break. One catch is more than what I make in a year. It's funny how receivers only job is to catch the football and they drop half of them. High school kids can play better than a lot of the pros and they are more fun. Could care less if pro sports fold, then maybe true athletes for the love of the game will come back.

November 17 2011 at 11:48 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
professor

This is an EZ transition (no pun intended). It's time we (the fans) take a hard position and even after a settlement, boycott the sport of Pro Basketball. Without us, they "got nothin". We need to stop buying Official NBA products, stop buying tickets, Corporations stop renewing boxes and season tickets, stop watching on TV..the trickle down effect will be devastating. Let them (the players) take a shot at the job market and see how far their skills get them. Sure, the good Lord has blessed them with the ability to be great athletes and use that skill to make enormous sums of money. That's wonderful! But dont become selfish, greedy pigs and steel the enjoyment from the fans like thieves in the night. The NBA is DEAD to me and I hope to have followers. College Hoops is totally awesome and almost pure...lol. Join me. It's time for the FANS to be heard. "The Professor"

November 17 2011 at 11:26 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
louroc17

Lost interest years ago, i prefer baseball these days.

November 17 2011 at 8:55 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Matt Dougherty

Hope that stupid game goes away forever ! Take it to AFRICA !

November 17 2011 at 8:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Matt Dougherty's comment
soopadaddy

Do you mean Canada? After all, that is the birthplace of basketball. Then again, you probably wouldn't remember that with all your head concussions from high school football (a/k/a "rugby for pansies"). Enlighten yourself, son.

November 17 2011 at 9:02 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
adixjr

was gonna slam you but now i feel bad. sorry about your head problems, i shoulda known something was wrong.

November 17 2011 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ZuesontheLoose

The NBA Owners and Players are in for a rude awakening when they decide to return to play. Arena's will be empty and the ratings will go down. The last thing fans want to see during a tough economy is a bunch of millionaires fighting over their fortune that's provided by the fans they have no problems trying to screw. Fans will revolt, fans will stay away and a message will be sent. I've personally watched my last game and have attened my last Lakers and Clippers game. Professional sports as a whole bores me. It's more fun watching college athletics.

November 17 2011 at 3:06 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply