|ESPN.com: TrueHoop||[Print without images]|
"If professional sports have a positive impact on a region’s economy, then one should expect a consistent pattern of increasing taxable sales following franchise expansions and the construction of new stadiums and a pattern of decreasing taxable sales ratios during periods of labor disruptions," the three economists reasoned. Instead, "no statistically significant effect on taxable sales is found from the sudden absence of professional sports due to strikes and lockouts."
It may seem counterintuitive—how can the shuttering of a major business not affect the local economy? But economists have an explanation, or rather two.
The first is a well-established phenomenon called the substitution effect. When people choose to spend money on one entertainment activity, that's also a decision not to spend that money elsewhere. Every basketball ticket you buy is a movie ticket not purchased, or a fancy dinner not eaten. If the NBA season doesn't start on time, Charlotte and Indianapolis and Portland will find something else to spend money on: college basketball, movies, restaurants.
To writers, the stadium employees are symbols. They are salt of the earth, striving, dragging regular-guy concerns and needs. They are what is “good.” They are what is “real.” These proletariat stand-ins stand in contrast to squabbling millionaire bastards who deign break the seal on a season we crave. Because of this, the screwed workers are a convenient cudgel against two sides whom we would wish into any damned CBA, so long as it’s done and done quickly.
Billionaires, millionaires, accept concessions! Not for me, but for those who work concessions!
When lobbying for basketball’s hasty return, “Think of the children!” logic just sounds weightier than, “I like when ball goes through hoop.”