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Hidden casualties of the NBA lockout

NBAAs the NBA lockout continues with players and owners sparring over revenues, we’re seeing the real victims of the spat: local businesses missing out on game-day action.

Every NBA arena has nearby businesses — bars, restaurants, retail outlets — that rely on gameday traffic to boost sales; in this economy, that extra 15 percent in sales can be the difference between profit and loss.

So every game cancelled means a financial hardship for these small-business owners. In Oklahoma City, the local economy loses out on about a million dollars in spending per cancelled game. Now, chances are good this money will still be spent in the region, so the area won’t necessarily suffer — just the small businesses relying on receiving a chunk of this money.

And, of course, the game-day staff misses out on a paycheck. There are more part-timers on game-day ops than many realize; for an Oklahoma City Thunder game, Chesapeake Energy Arena employs some 500 part-timers. For many, this extra income is needed just to make ends meet. We’re guessing the likes of a Kris Humphries won’t miss that regular NBA check for any time soon — but that game-day ticket taker will probably miss that small check sooner than you think.

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