January 11, 2012
By Karen Robinson-Jacobs
It’s good to be king, especially in a truncated NBA season.
As the reigning champs of the National Basketball Association , the Dallas Mavericks can expect less fallout from the 149-day lockout than other teams, sports marketing experts said.
The lockout, ended just last month, virtually eliminated preseason play and chopped the regular season down from 41 home games to 33. The Mavericks’ regular season begins Sunday at American Airlines Center with a repeat of last season’s finals matchup with the Miami Heat.
The delayed start meant monthly sales cut by more than half for some restaurants in Victory Park, and lower Mavs merchandise sales compared to what might have been.
But the euphoria brought on by extinguishing the Heat last summer is expected to block some of the negative impact of the shortened season....
Economists, who tend to downplay the economic impact of sports events, concede that if anyone’s burned when teams take an unscheduled break, it’s Jacobson and his compatriots along with ushers, ticket takers and others who rely on Mavericks games.
“Those are the people you most hate to see lose,” said Michael Davis, a lecturer at Southern Methodist University who tracks sports business. “Those are the people we really have to be concerned about. There are a lot of people who count on that [income]. They’re going to notice it.”