RELATIONS GO SOUTH
A common theme dominates the press during any work stoppage—nobody wins during a lockout (by owners) or a strike (by players). Players lose current salary payments while they battle over collective bargaining agreement (CBA) minutiae. Owners cannot collect the value of ownership in the absence of play, and run the risk of lower fan attention to their sport (at the gate and on TV) once play resumes. All of the supporting casts, from parking attendants to concessionaires, twiddle their thumbs waiting for the stars of the show, owners and players, to get their act together. Finally, fans lose the object of their affection (or affliction, depending on your view of fandom). Only one thing makes fans angrier than the high prices they must pay to enjoy their teams, and that is not getting to enjoy any of it at all.
We note simply in passing that too much is made of the losses to the supporting cast. In general, money that is not spent by fans on their favorite pro teams is just spent elsewhere. One parking lot’s loss is another’s gain at some other entertainment event. Concessionaires, by and large working for that minimum wage, just move to some other job. And money that would have been spent at restaurants and bars around the home facility of the pro team just go to other entertainment and restaurants someplace else close by. We spend no more time on this and refer the reader to the vast literature on this topic. We also take the completely uncontroversial as given—by and large, fans lose out during a lockout or strike. Instead of these distractions, we focus on the main event between owners and players.
It is possible for both sides to lose, and we cover this below. But this is