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Dan Boras [userpic]

How an NFL work stoppage would impact you?

January 19th, 2011 (01:15 pm)

For the longest time, we have been hearing in the US and Canadian sports media about a potential NFL work stoppage.  Most articles will discuss the topics of why a work stoppage is likely to happen?  Who is at fault?  and what all the key players want in a new collective bargaining agreement.  My blog today will focus on how an NFL work stoppage will impact you.

On the surface, the two countries that will be immediately be impacted by this would be the United States and Canada.  Right now, the North American ecomomy is still in recovery mode, since the US housing meltdown occurred in 2008.  Think about the economic impact of how many people will be unemployed during the work stoppage and the impact on both economies.  This will definitely not help the recovery.  Whenever you go to an NFL game.....restaurants, food vendors, concession stand operators, merchandisers, parking attendants, stadium maintenance staff, police, security.....you name it, all depend on those games to happen in order to earn an income.  What will be the effect of shutting down a season?   The NFL Players Association estimates an average of about $160 million in local spending and 3,000 jobs would be lost in each league city if the full 2011 season were wiped out.  Now, if the league has 32 teams, then the total national spending lost would be 5.12 billion dollars, with the loss of 96,000 jobs.  The NFL owners will say that this figure is ridiculously to high, but when they are building stadiums they usually say that a stadium will bring in between $20 - $40 million in spending per home game.   Therefore, I actually believe the Players Association.   If you live near the Canadian border and attend Buffalo Bills games, you can only imagine the ecomonic impact of this work stoppage on a city like Buffalo, NY.  That city has been in ecomonic turmoil since the mid 1970's.  This would just be the final nail in the coffin for NFL football in Western New York.

Now, if you are a Canadian reading this blog, you are probably thinking that you will be immune to the effects of these job losses.  Think again.  The United States is still Canada's largest trading partner, accounting for approximately 80% of total trade.  If Americans can't buy as much of our goods and services, then our manufacturers and service providers will be hurt by this.  Finally, you will be impacted by the fact that football betting will not be available by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC).  The reason that the NFL is so popular in North America, is because of the gambling bets that are made for each and every game.  In Ontario, the OLGC uses those gambling proceeds to fund social programs across the provinces, such as hospitals.

I know, you are probably wondering, if they can't bet on football, they will bet on other sports.  They might do that, but football is more for the average fan.  No other sport in North America, not even hockey, reaches the sports betting heights such as football.   I also know that you are probably thinking, who cares, it will mean that more money will stay in people's pockets and we will have less problem gamblers in the future.  That might happen, if you have a job left because folks in the US are not buying your good or services. 

The point I am trying to make here is that even if you hate professional football or don't understand it all, an NFL work stoppage will have a negative impact on you.  The major bright spot will be that folks just might take that Sunday and spend it with their loved ones, or call a friend they haven't spoken to in a long time, or start a hobby that they always wanted to, but never had time.  If these things happen, then maybe some good might come out of it.