Explaining Southern California's economy

NHL lockout? It wouldn't help the LA Kings' already iffy finances

2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final ? Game Six

Harry How/Getty Images

The Kings celebrate on ice on their way to a Stanley Cup. But they should get too excited. The team is losing money and the fourth NHL lockout since 1992 looms.

There's a very good chance that, unless NHL players and owners can come to some kind of miraculous eleventh hour resolution, the league will be dealing with its fourth lockout since 1992. As CBSSPorts.com points out, with each stoppage has come a bigger hit to the pro hockey schedule, culminating in the loss of the entire 2004-05 season. 

In Los Angeles, this means that the Stanley Cup-winning L.A. Kings may not enjoy the full fruits of their first season after a stirring victory. Some obvious question arise. If a lockout comes, how much will it cost the players? What will be the local ecoomic impact?

Those are relatively simple to answer. Some players, depending on where they are in their contracts (which pay out more in some years than in others), will feel some pain, although as Bleacher Report notes, a few players could head to the Kontinental Hockey League and garner reduced wages there.

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Slide Show: A glimpse of things to come for LA's new football stadium

StadiumView-Lexus1-MDB

Matthew DeBord

In the Lexus Club, the system can provide a appropriately luxurious stream of HD content.

StadiumView-Rink-MDB

Matthew DeBord

If the new football stadium gets built, the big screens will be a lot more impressive.

StadiumVision-Lexus2-MDB

Matthew DeBord

Lexus sponsors its own club in the Staples Center. More of this type of branding will be on tap for Farmers Field.

StadiumView-Menus-MDB

Matthew DeBord

The menu screens at concession areas can be dynamically updated and themed according to who is playing that night.

StadiumView-Suite-MDB

Matthew DeBord

In the luxury Suites, the HD screens can be used to order food, buy merchandise, and tap into various video feeds from around the stadium.


Earlier this week, I took a tour of the Staples Center to check out a substantial technology upgrade throughout the facility (it's called StadiumVision). AEG joined with Cisco and Verizon to improve the way that programming and information can be displayed on HD video screens around the stadium. This ranged from theming and special offers on menu displays at concessions to e-commerce possibilities in the luxury suites. 

It was all very interesting and a pretty fair example of high-level business collaboration. AEG, Cisco, and Verizon are hardly small players. 

But it was also a glimpse of things to come. I can certainly remember the good old days of sports venues, when advertising, branding, and marketing was far more limited. Now, LA and AEG could very well be on the verge of building a state of the art football stadium Downtown, called Farmers Field. Ambitions for technology to "enhance the fan experience" are running high. The screens could be more numerous and much larger. And there could be a lot more mobile interaction, right down to the level of watching the game via a dynamic live feed to an iPhone app. From what I heard, that's the Holy Grail — you're at the game, but you can hold the game in your hands.

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NBA game cancellations could show strength of LA's diversified entertainment economy

Staples Center

Eric Richardson/Blogdowntown

Vehicles pass by a darkened Staples Center on October 10, 2011.

As my new KPCC colleague Eric Richardson reported this morning, NBA commissioner David Stern has decided to cancel the first two weeks of the season, in the face of an ongoing labor impasse. This is going to cost money, in terms of lost ticket sales and the spending that people engage in when they attend games. If more games are cancelled, the costs are going to be significant.

Here's the math, for the sacrificed Lakers and Clippers games at the Staples Center, assuming the cancellation extends throughout the rest of 2011:

  • $30 million in ticket sales
  • $40 million for everything else
  • Grand total: $70 million

As Richardson points out, the $30 million is less relevant than the $40, because the latter is money that won't go to Downtown businesses (the $30 million represents "sunk" costs — money already expended that can't be recovered). The $40 million will get spent elsewhere in the city.

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