Westbrook Injury Bad For Business?

Friday, April 26th 2013, 9:10 pm
By: News 9

It's the multi-million dollar question mark -- Will Russell Westbrook's injury negatively impact the local economy?

A shorter playoff run could see fewer visitors in downtown hotels and less foot traffic through Bricktown. The City of Oklahoma City says local businesses will lose a combined estimate of $1.3 million for every missed home playoff game.

Bricktown Brewery part owner Charles Stout is staying optimistic.

"I think we'll get the same amount of home games that we got last year," Stout said after learning the news of Westbrook's injury.

Stout says even though Westbrook's injury is bad for the team, it may allow for more competitive series that take longer to end -- meaning more home games.

4/26/2013 Related Story: Thunder's Westbrook To Undergo Surgery, Out Indefinitely

"We gripe about how long the NBA playoffs are," Stout said. "I'm kind of glad it's long right now. Let's give Russell some time to heal."

But, if Westbrook's injury takes a greater than expected toll on the team, Thunder fans and Bricktown visitors know it's bad all the way around.

"I think it will definitely impact Bricktown," visitor Kelly Batt said. "The Thunder has brought in a lot of revenue."

4/26/2013 Related Story: Westbrook's Devastating Injury Will Test The Mettle Of Oklahoma City

Batt and others say no matter what the rest of the season holds, they still plan on visiting Bricktown.

Bricktown Brewery and other businesses in Oklahoma City's entertainment district see a 30 to 40 percent increase in sales during weekend playoff games and can more than double sales on weeknight playoff games.

The City says, overall, businesses will likely do even better this year compared to last year due to the 2012 NBA lockout.

4/26/2013 Related Story: Surgeon Talks About Westbrook Knee Injury