NBA Commissioner David Stern, center, talks with reporters after leaving an NBA labor talks meeting Oct. 10 (David Karp/AP)

“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.”

Fans will have to wait longer to see how Washington Wizards' John Wall will fare this year. (Darron Cummings/AP)

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.”