Lakers, Dodgers championship bids are no boon for local businesses during pandemic

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A man sells Lakers merchandise outside of the Staples Center on Oct. 11, 2020 in Los Angeles. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

A man sells Lakers merchandise outside of the Staples Center on Oct. 11, 2020 in Los Angeles. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

In years past, a Lakers NBA championship run meant rabid fans arriving before and after games to crowd the lobby bar of the Hotel Figueroa, the 94-year-old inn a few blocks from the Lakers’ home court, Staples Center.

The Lakers faithful would also gather around the poolside restaurant and two-story bar, ordering drinks and food and watching the games on flat-screen TVs.

“It’s been a lot quieter this year given the pandemic,” Connie Wang, managing director of the Hotel Figueroa, said of the NBA season. She declined to disclose the financial impact.

While the Lakers won their 17th championship this month and the Los Angeles Dodgers are now battling for a World Series title this weekend, L.A. sports bars, merchandise stores, hotels and eateries are not benefiting from the typical fan gatherings — the drinking, eating and celebrating that come with such playoff runs.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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