Businesses worried about impact if NBA lockout continues

The impact of the stoppage will likely be felt throughout downtown Indianapolis in the coming weeks and months.


The NBA officially cancelled training camps and several preseason games in response to the ongoing lockout Friday. All three of the Indiana Pacers' preseason games are cancelled because they were scheduled in the first week of games. The impact of the stoppage will likely be felt throughout downtown Indianapolis in the coming weeks and months.

Indianapolis businesses that depend on the Pacers were concerned about Friday's announcement, but they are more concerned about the potential of losing regular season games.

"One game means probably what we make in one week," said Gordon Coke, owner of The Pub, which is located across from Conseco Fieldhouse.

Coke said a prolonged NBA lockout could mean weeks worth of lost sales.

"That would be a big blow, just not for me, but for a lot of the businesses downtown," he said.

"It's not good at all," said Chris Burton with Kilroy's Bar N'Grill.

Burton said the Pacers also bring in big business and more employees.

"Depending upon what night of the week a game is and depending on who we're playing, I might actually have to double my staff," Burton said. "Our business could double, our sales could double, so we definitely have to add many people."

"It's not the owners and the players who will really be hammered by this," said Bill Benner, IBJ Sports COlumnist. "It's the people that make that extra income off the Indiana Pacers."

A 2010 study found that losing the Pacers for a year would cost the city $55 Million in economic impact, 909 jobs, and 600,000 fans who travel downtown for games.

Benner said the timing is especially hard for the Pacers because the team had just begun generating even more fan support thanks to a playoff birth last year among other things.

"They've done all the right things to get the battle ship turned around and now they can't pull it out of port," Benner said.

Downtown businesses are also left to wonder whether the excitement will fade before they can capitalize.

"Especially this year, with the addition of George Hill and we made the Playoffs this past year I think it would have been even more this coming year, where maybe instead of double it could have even been triple (the business)," Burton said.




Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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