Pro football in America is a $9 billion business, and no $9 billion business can shut down without far-ranging consequences. Fans, players, and owners are feeling the strain as the NFL's first work stoppage in nearly 30 years enters its second week, but others are beginning to fear a pinch.
Since debuting in 1988, the Madden football franchise has racked up $3 billion in sales for developer EA Sports. And while the company's licensing agreement with the league and players union allows them to produce a new installment of the game even if a new labor deal is not in place, Wedbush Morgan Securities video game analyst Michael Pachter tells The Hollywood Reporter that a complete cancellation of the 2012 season would likely lead to a 50 percent dip in sales.
Will Americans continue to crave heavily sauced chicken in the absence of professional football? Those connected to Wall Street and the poultry industry aren't sure. The New York Post points out that NFL fans consume between 5 million and 10 million wings every weekend during the 17 game regular season, creating a potential deficit of 170 million wings for "chicken growers who are already getting sauced by the high costs of farming." The Motley Fool even went as far as listing chain restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings alongside obvious choices DirecTV and Disney in its rundown of the stocks with the most to lose if games are missed.
You don't have to be a football fan to be negatively impacted by the lockout, explains National Journal's Michael Catalani. All you need to do is live in Denver, Chicago, Indianapolis or any of the cities where public funds have been used to build, refurbish or maintain stadiums. For each lost home game, the chance of seeing a return on that investment is pushed one more Sunday down the road.
Without pro football, sports wagering--legal and not-so-legal alike--will plummet this fall. The Associated Press notes this is particularly troubling news for Las Vegas casinos already trying to overcome a decline in tourism. 30 percent of the $2.5 billion wagered last year in Nevada was placed on NFL games, says the AP. The influx of bettors into Las Vegas for February's Super Bowl generated more than $85 million in non-gambling revenue in just a single weekend.