It’s possible some, perhaps even all, of the 82-game regular season schedule will be eliminated. And though it’s difficult to forecast the exact economic impact a prolonged lockout would have on the Portland area, the hit would be substantial, according to local businesses.

“The value of the Blazers team to this community is measured in the millions,” said Drew Mahalic, CEO of the Oregon Sports Authority. “Their absence will, quite frankly, be devastating to the Portland regional community in that it impacts so many different businesses when they play.”

A lot of the revenue generated from Blazers games — gate receipts, parking dollars, food and concession funds — pads the wallet of billionaire owner Paul Allen and helps pay for the multimillion-dollar operation of running the team.

But Blazers home games also funnel money throughout the community. TriMet ridership increases on game nights. Business booms at local restaurants and bars. Hotels house visiting NBA teams.

Also, to help host a Blazers game, the Rose Garden contracts with up to four vendors, including Ovations Food Services, which oversees the food and beverage operations for the Rose Quarter and employs 900 people every game night.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian