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NBA Lockout Impacts Chicago Basketball Scene

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Paul Vieraitis, manager of Chicago Sports and Novelty, is feeling the pinch with the NBA lockout. (CBS)

Paul Vieraitis, manager of Chicago Sports and Novelty, is feeling the pinch with the NBA lockout. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — NBA players rejected the league’s latest offer Monday and began disbanding the union, fully aware it likely will jeopardize the season.

Chicago’s potential lockout loss could be huge.

Analyst Tim Mahon of Midwest Diversified Group says the city could lose anywhere from $150 million to $200 million if there’s a lockout that lasts the whole season.

Sports attorney Exavier Pope says losses for the city can also be measured in a number of fans lost.

“So the fans interest has waned because they’re frustrated,” he tells CBS 2’s Pamela Jones. “They have fatigue. They had to deal with the NFL lockout. Now, they have to deal with the NBA lockout.”

That kind of news is already hitting home with people who sell bulls shirts and other items. It’s not exactly flying off the shelves right now.

“It affects it certainly, because there’s no home crowd coming down to buy the merchandise. But also a lot of the international people come down and buy the merchandise, so they’re not aware of the lockout,” Paul Vieraitis, manager of Chicago Sports and Novelty, says.

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