(LOS ANGELES) -- With the entire NBA season now in jeopardy, restaurants and bars around basketball arenas that are already struggling through the basketball lockout are looking at the potential of a very long winter.
It has been estimated that just the first 30 cancelled games have cost Los Angeles businesses $40 million. Without the Lakers or Clippers playing at the Staples Center the large crowds have disappeared.
It’s not all bad news though. At the Bottle Rock Wine Bar and Restaurant down the street from the Staples Center, General Manager Corwyn Anthony tells ABC News Radio they are getting creative.
“People are now able to book little parties, bridal showers, and business meetings,” explains Anthony. He says locals who have typically stayed away from the neighborhood during the NBA season are now spending money and they usually spend much more than NBA fans who are often from out of town.
The Staples Center has been making up for lost basketball by adding concerts like Katy Perry when there would have been games. Parking attendants say they have not noticed a huge decline in business because of the ongoing concerts. Taxi drivers say they are still getting business from high end hotels like a J.W. Marriott and a Ritz Carton next door to the Staples Center.
But in Memphis, Tennessee, it’s a different story. The restaurants around FedEx Forum haven’t been able to turn things around quite as well. Ty Agee owns a bar and he says when the Grizzlies are playing it means cash in his pocket. “It’s worth, you know, 30 to 40 percent sales of the day,” Agee tells us. Now that money is gone. The Grizzles have also laid off seven employees.
Other arenas around the country say they too are hurting. Some arenas are now being rented out for special events like weddings to make up for lost cash.
But back in Los Angeles, Staples Center owner AEG, which is also a concert promoter, has been able to fill lost basketball dates with performances. And restaurant executives like Corwyn Anthony actually like the local business they’re getting.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio