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Ticket Broker Calls Possible Loss Of NBA Season A Tragedy

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The entire NBA season is now in doubt, and a prominent Chicago ticket broker is calling it a tragedy for the city.

The players’ association rejected a new proposed deal from the league on Monday, and then began disbanding, paving the way for a lawsuit that will take the dispute from the bargaining table to court.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

That throws the entire 2011-2012 season into jeopardy.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, Gold Coast Tickets founder Max Waisvisz says it’s tragic “because of the Bulls being so good this year. It hurts because we have a good team.”

Waisvisz still has plenty of games to sell – including tickets for Bears, Blackhawks and college teams. But he’s feeling the loss of the Bulls.

“We haven’t let anyone off, but we definitely have taken pay cuts as owners of the business,” he said.

While the bottom-line effect comes now, the pain comes later, Waisvisz said.

“Because usually in October and November, we take losses in the beginning of the season, because people just aren’t geared up for basketball,” Waisvisz said. “Once you start seeing December come along, then people get more interested in basketball.”

Waisvisz’ Gold Coast Tickets is located at 908 W. Madison St., several blocks east of the United Center.

It’s not just ticket brokers who are feeling the pain from the absent Bulls.

Greg Mammozer, manager of Crossroads Bar and Grill at 1120 W. Madison St. about six blocks east of the United Center, is working on alternative strategies to fill the house on quiet nights without the Bulls.

“We’re doing some Groupon deals during the week to try to kind of pick up the volume,” Mammozer said. “Hockey games are up a lot.”

As CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reported earlier this week, 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 said. “They have fatigue. They had to deal with the NFL lockout. Now, they have to deal with the NBA lockout.”

So what does Waisvisz think – will there be a 2011-2012 season at all?

“Right now, I’m going to say no,” he said.

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