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NBA Lockout Cost OKC $18 Million

by Darnell Mayberry Published: December 2, 2011

Tom Anderson, special projects manager for Oklahoma City, appeared on NBA TV to weigh in on the financial effects of the NBA lockout.

In a 7 1/2-minute segment that included CNBC’s Darren Rovell, there was all kinds of interesting and informative detail to emerge from the two interviews. The most notable, however, came when Anderson spoke directly to how the lockout impacted Oklahoma City. Two months ago, Anderson told The Oklahoman’s Michael Kimball that city officials estimate each Thunder home game pumps about $1.28 million into the city’s economy. Based on that estimate, the Thunder’s 52 home games last season were responsible for a $66.6 million boost in direct spending in Oklahoma City.

Now, with the lockout having wiped out 16 games in the 2011-12 season, including eight Thunder home games, Anderson provides an updated estimate.

Based on our calculations…we’re looking at a gross loss of direct spending of about $18 million.”

That’s (correction) $970,000 more per game than the original estimate from two months ago. It’s important to note, however, that that figure could be off based on whether Anderson included the canceled preseason games into that estimate. If he’s including the two canceled home preseason games, the estimated direct spending drops to roughly $600,000 and means each game provides OKC’s economy$1.8 million in direct spending.

Anderson, echoing a widely held belief of most economists, went on to say that there is no real way to know what the net loss could be for the city because some of that $18 million will be redirected and spent elsewhere. But Anderson also added that the $18 million figure does not take into account loss wages, indirect spending and any potential multiplier effect.


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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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