The NBA’s decision to cancel two weeks of the regular season will put Hooters manager Jordan Schultz back around $1,000 in sales for each missed Washington Wizards game.
“Business is definitely gonna dip,” said Schultz, who manages the sports bar just down the street from the Wizards’ home court, Verizon Center. “It’s a significant two or three nights a week.”
The shortened regular season, born from a disagreement over how to split around $4 billion in basketball-related income, means that the Wizards will lose five games. It means that players union-supporting Wizards are discouraged. (“It’s tough,” guard John Wall wrote in a text message to the The Washington Post’s Wizards Insider blog.) And it means Wizards fans will have to wait that much longer to see if good players like Wall will turn out to be great.
Schultz said the Wizards crowd always provide a good atmosphere, especially when players themselves drop by after or between games. But Schultz points out that he notices a bigger hockey fan base on the whole.
RFD bar manager Ryan Bell and Fado Irish Pub manager Ciara O’Neill agree: Verizon Center roommates the Washington Capitals are the lifeblood of the sports scene in Penn Quarter. For them, a hockey lockout would be far worse.
“Basketball is nothing to be concerned about for us,” Bell said. “It’s nothing compared to if the Caps were on a lockout.”