As lockout drags on, more regular people finding their paychecks shrinking

Here and Now

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The NBA lockout continues and games are canceled for the entire month over disagreement between owners and players over how to split the revenue pie.

In some of the 30 cities that don’t have NBA basketball, there are other sports in the same arena, like hockey. But in some towns, like Orlando or Portland or Cleveland, there are no other tennants for the massive arenas that are now sitting empty.

John Adams is the operations manager at Harry Buffalo, a restaurant just a stone’s throw from the home of the Cleveland Cavalieres, the Quicken Loans Arena. Tonight, the scheduled home opener for the Cavs, Adams said he should have 25 people working in the restaurant and the kitchen. With the lockout in place though, he’ll have 7 people working.

“Unfortunately, we just don’t have the hours,” he explained.

And that’s not just bad for business, it’s bad for the employees, too. Between all of his employees, Adams said they’re parents to 11 children. Now times are tight.

“It’s how they make their living. They live off of this,” he explained.

With games already canceled through all of November, the spectre of the entire season been canceled has been raised.

If that happens, it could mean disaster for downtown Cleveland.

“I’ve heard rumors from suppliers. There are places that are in jeopardy,” Adams said. “It’s going to be tough down here. There are going to be places laying off staff. There are going to be places downtown that will close.”

Of course, restaurant employees aren’t the only ones suffering. Police officers often earn extra money by working security at the arenas, for example. Plus, there are hundreds of people who take tickets and work concessions at the arena who are also without jobs.


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