End Of Lockout Signals Boost For Downtown Business

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A tentative agreement was reached early Saturday morning that could end the long NBA lockout. That means the delayed season could get started in a few weeks.

The breakthrough came at the end of a marathon bargaining session between NBA owners and players.

The NBA’s 450 players and 30 team owners still have to sign off on the resolution, but if they do it will be good news for the Minnesota Timberwolves and great news for businesses around Target Center.

“I’m excited to see Derrick Williams and the young guys and watch them build where they are going,” said Timberwolves fan Ben Martancik.

The Lifetime Fitness basketball court in downtown Minneapolis has had plenty of basketball this year, unlike the Target Center next door. Now the news that the lockout may be over has fans excited to be fans once again.

“Ricky Rubio, that’s going to be awesome. Looking forward to watching him play finally. And Kevin Love too,” said Timberwolves fan Kristal Grigsby.

At Kieran’s Irish Pub, business has been down about 10 percent on the nights the Timberwolves were supposed to play across the street. They are anticipating that fans who have been waiting to see a young team in action will make up for that.

“Obviously it’s going to turn out at the gate. About 15,000 people go to those games. We assume they will now draw a lot of interest with the new talent,” said Kieran’s Manager Brock Mortensen.

Because of the lockout, the Timberwolves laid off a dozen employees in July. Luckily, places like Kieran’s and Hubert’s haven’t had to make drastic changes yet. Saturday’s news means business is ready to rebound.

“Luckily they got it worked out and it will be happy holidays for everyone around Target Center,” said Hubert’s Manager Ryan Nelson.

The Timberwolves are not able to comment on the resolution until an agreement is officially signed. If anyone from the team does talk before then, the organization could face a $1 million fine from the league.

If this does go through, the Timberwolves first game at Target Center would likely be Dec. 26 against Oklahoma City. If tip off happens that night, the Timberwolves would have missed a total of eight games at Target Center.

More from John Lauritsen
  • http://skysreach.wordpress.com skysreachco

    this was well needed

  • John

    Oh good, now we have a third Minnesota team to watch lose.

    • Obv.

      No you don’t have to watch them lose, they don’t care about you, same as your family im guessing John, they don’t need you also same as your family.

      • John

        Your mom cares about me. At least she did last night.

  • LO

    Of course a 10 million dollar salary is never enough..so now we need 20 million to throw a ball in a hoop. Pathetic. They need to cap salaries. Better yet, everybody gets $100,000 the first year they play in the NBA..then every year after that they’re still playing they will get a $100,000 pay increase. So if you been playing for 5 years, you get $500,000 a year. You play for 10 years, you get a million a year. This is more than enough. This should go for all sports, not just basketball.

    • WOVLES

      from a guy who sit on his laptop all day, just stop it.

    • NBAsux

      Who cares what the players make? The owners are dumb enough to pay the escalating salaries. But again, who really cares? The NBA is headed for the basement of US sports. It is about as entertaining as a pick up game at the park.

      • Jill

        Normally, we wouldn’t care. But since the teams are subsidized by taxpayer money, because of corrupt and niave politicians, it is our business.

  • Darren

    Yeah, now the drug dealers on the corners will get their NBA Players back!

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