NBA Commissioner David Stern canceled the first two weeks of the 2011-2012 season Tuesday, and reports say there is no end in sight for the ongoing lockout.
When asked what the fate of the rest of the season is, Stern told reporters that the remaining games are in jeopardy as days continue to pass without the two sides coming to an agreement.
The owners and players cannot come to terms on the luxury-tax system, but the union sees this as the same thing as a hard cap. The current proposal by the owners involves a$2 tax for every $1 spent over the tax threshold, and if teams cross three times in a five year span, the price will increase to $3, or $4 for five years in a row.
The owners also wanted four year contracts for free agents re-signing with the same team and three years for players signing with new teams, while the union proposed a system of five years and four years, respectively.
The lockout affects more than just the teams and the individuals associated with each organization. Not only will fans miss watching the action, local businesses will feel an even greater economic burden.
The Boston Globe reported that business at Boston’s The Four’s triples for Celtics’ home games, which draws 18,000 fans inside the TD Garden, as well as numerous others who flock the bars near Causeway Street to take in the action.
The Globe spoke with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, who said:
“Each Celtics home game generated an average of $1.85 million in spinoff spending for the local economy, including spending inside the area — ticket sales, food, drinks, retail — and in the surrounding neighborhood — eating, drinking, retail, and public transportation.”
It is hard to describe the atmosphere in the bars and restaurants surrounding the Garden. The pride Boston fans have for their teams is unmatched, and it is evident on games nights. The amount of green overshadows everything else, as fans flock the area to show their support.
Some of my greatest memories of going to games include the dinner before. Often times, my family and I would head into the city early to grab a few slices of pizza at Halftime Pizza across the street. The experience was sometimes overwhelming, as the line to get in the place was out the door.
Fans packed inside one of the local hotspots, sitting and standing with one another in enjoyment as they looked forward to the night ahead. Being a fan does not just include going to games, it also involves the interaction among other fans at great places serving the public and the teams.
The lockout is not just between the players and the owners. It prevents fans from enjoying a night out, and it keeps local institutions from providing great places for locals to experience everything that is involved in athletic contests.
Yes, the NBA is a business, but the executives and the union need to come to the realization that sports has more than a quantitative meaning; it is memories, experiences, and overall happiness that fans alike share with one another in support of a winning cause.