MIAMI (CBS4) — Many people who work in businesses close to the AmericanAirlinesArena fear the continuing NBA lockout will cost them cash they cannot afford to lose.
Across from the Arena at Bayside and inside restaurants like Los Ranchos Steakhouse, employees say business is booming when the Miami Heat play their home games.
“It gets very busy, crazy sometimes,” said Alex Canas, who has been a bartender at Los Ranchos Steakhouse for the past 21 years. “Everybody comes out at the same time and they all want to leave at the same time. It gets very busy.”
Miami Heat games mean thousands of dollars more for the restaurant. CBS4 News partner the Miami Herald reported that Los Ranchos Steakhouse clears $12,000 on average on the night of Heat games, compared with $7,000 on an average night.
Heat games also mean thousands of dollars more for employees over the course of a season.
“I don’t even have a number but it’s quite significant,” said waiter Rommel Almanza, who has worked at the restaurant for the past 10 years.
Almanza told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that Heat games lead to extra shifts.” We usually get, I’d probably get a good $80 for two hours.”
Employees said Saturday night’s South Florida All-Star Classic in Southwest Miami-Dade that featured NBA all stars including the Heat’s Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James was a welcome sight but at this point, it was just a tease.
It’s been more than 100 days since the NBA lockout was announced.
That’s why Canas and Almanza say a continuing NBA lockout will have serious consequences.
“The lockout will affect not only us but it will be economically bad for many others here in the Bayside area since we are right by the Arena. Hopefully we can get this resolved because we really need this. And on top of that, I am a Heat fan.”
“I haven’t followed this lockout too much but I sure hope they can resolve this problem and take care of this and just go play,” said Canas.
Monday is an important day.
If the owners and players union do not work out an agreement, NBA Commissioner David Stern says the first two weeks of the regular season may be cancelled.
The first scheduled Heat home game is November 3rd.
The entire NBA pre season was scrubbed.