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By: Paul Atkinson on 12/09/2011
Downtown businesses that rely on Phoenix Suns fans are welcoming the official end to the N-B-A lockout. Players were allowed to return to team facilities Friday. The question now is how will a shortened season affect business. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Paul Atkinson reports.
“Can I get you a drink while you wait?”
Carri McCue waits tables across the street from U-S Airways arena. Her restaurant, Alice Copperstown, has looked more like a ghost town on nights when the Suns were scheduled to play.
CARI McCUE “The night crew is not doing so well.”
Neither have the 600 seasonal employees who lost two months of part time work at U-S Airways Arena. Phoenix native and Suns forward Channing Frye.
CHANNING FRYE “It’s an honor to play here in this arena and they do a great job and they’re very appreciated--especially by us. I know the situation was tough, but we appreciate them in everything that they do.”
Phoenix Suns president Brad Casper says the team will look at ways to attract more people downtown. The Suns averaged more than 17-thousand fans at home games last year.
BRAD CASPER “With us starting to play basketkall and you can feel the momentum in this building and I hope that that caries over to the vendors and the other leaders down here who count on our foot traffic to do well.”
Alice Cooperstown server Carrie McCue can’t wait for the Suns to play.
CARRI McCUE It’s going to be better. It’s been rough and it couldn’t be at a better time—the holiday season. People are ready to go out with their families and celebrate….so we’re very lucky.”
The Suns play a preseason game December 22nd with the first regular season home game played the day after Christmas. For KJZZ, I’m Paul Atkinson