Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NFL Lockout Victims

Everyone talks about the players and the owners when it comes to the NFL lockout, but there are numerous people that will be affected by a work stoppage. It is impossible to predict when this labor dispute will end and those who have jobs tied to the NFL are in limbo. What about the vendors that lease space in the stadiums? I doubt they have a clause in their lease that says they don't have to pay rent if there's no games. What about the guys that put down the stadium turf? I doubt they still get paid if there's no fields to transform. What about the referees? Most of them have second jobs and refs have a strong union, but the uncertainty of when and if the season is going to start must make it difficult to make any concrete scheduling plans.

The economic ramifications of an NFL work stoppage are far greater than how to split the $9,000,000,000 in revenue. There are other people involved who don't make millions (or billions) that just want to put food on their table. The hot dog guy, the t-shirt salesman, the parking lot attendants, and the sports bar owners will all suffer much greater financial loss than Paul Allen or Peyton Manning. Some of these individuals have kids in college, some of them are behind on their mortgage, but all of them depend on the NFL for their livelihood.

Do you think the owners and players take these guys into consideration when they're sitting at the bargaining table? Unlikely. The core issues of the disagreement don't change just because the trickle down effect is enormous. These guys are considered collateral damage in a war between two factions that don't like or trust each other. Things will get worse before they get better. I just hope the little guys can hold on that long.

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