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Palm Coast Thursday, Mar. 10, 2011 8 years ago

Lockout could bring exponential affects

by: Andrew OBrien Contributing Writer

The midnight Thursday, March 3, deadline to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the owners and the players of the National Football League came and went, but no lockout took place.

On Thursday, the two sides agreed to extend the deadline by 24 hours. Then on Friday afternoon, both sides agreed to a seven-day extension. Right now, the deadline is Friday, March 11. In total, the two sides are on their 15th day of negotiations, but are still separated on key economic issues. If a deal isn’t reached by Friday’s deadline, another extension could come or, ultimately, the lockout could occur — making it the NFL’s first work stoppage in nearly 25 years. The previous CBA was signed in 2006, but owners opted out in 2008, which is why the two sides are currently split.

Of course, the biggest divider between the players and the owners is money.

And that’s where a lockout can affect a local economy. While many follow the situation wondering if a lockout is or isn’t going to happen, there are thousands — if not more — that are waiting to find out if they will have jobs come summertime.

The NFL doesn’t only affect the players and the owners — there are so many outside people who would be negatively affected if there’s a shortened season, or worse, no season at all.

The people who operate stadium security would be affected. You know, the men and women wearing those yellow shirts. All the employees of the team who run the concession stands and vendors at the stadium would be jobless. The people who squirt water/Gatorade into the player’s mouths — they would be out of work.

But, having no season also affects local businesses.

Consider the Jacksonville Jaguars. There are so many businesses in downtown Jacksonville that would lose a lot of money if there aren’t eight (or more if the season is extended) games bringing in thousands of people to watch.

In the end, I know signing a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is easier said than done, but I think something will give. Everyone involved needs work. As a fan, I want to have a product to watch on Sundays come September.

Contact Andrew O’Brien at [email protected].

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