LA business owners hope “LeBron effect” will be a slam dunk for their bottom lines

Ticket prices for the Lakers are already rising

Oct.October 20, 2018 09:00 AM
LeBron James and the Los Angeles skyline (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

UPDATED, October 20, 9:43 a.m.: As LeBron James kicks off his first season as a Los Angeles Laker, bar and restaurant owners in Downtown Los Angeles are hoping to begin a new era for their businesses.

Business owners in the surrounding neighborhoods abutting the Staples Center are hoping for the so-called “LeBron effect” — a boost in business thanks to increased interest in the famous basketball player — to take shape as the NBA star puts on his shiny purple-and-gold jersey, Downtown News reported.

Some bars, such as Prank, will even serve LeBron-inspired cocktails. Another will place a caricature of James on its wall. Others will offer special deals for those who come bearing jerseys.

Hopeful owners look to Cleveland as an example. James is credited for bringing a highly-welcomed boost to Cleveland’s economy with bars, restaurants and other shops nearby the arena experiencing a surge in business during his 11-year stint as a Cavalier.

But the effects in L.A. might not be as drastic as Cleveland, some warn. Unlike Cleveland, Lakers games already tend to have a high attendance rate regardless of how they are performing.

That said, some online ticket resellers are already noticing a change. has seen average ticket prices for Lakers jump as much as 430 percent since LeBron announced he was joining.

“There are only a handful of athletes in the world who can make an impact on ticket demand like LeBron can,” StubHub’s general manager Scott Jablonski told the Downtown News in a statement.

James has also been a boon to Brentwood’s luxury real estate market, picking up not one, but two, homes for more than $20 million since 2015.

He paid $21 million for a 9,450-square-foot custom-built pad in November 2015. He then fueled rumors of a potential move to the Lakers when he picked up another manse in the neighborhood for $23 million in December 2017. [DN] — Natalie Hoberman

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article stated that LeBron James would play his first game as a Los Angeles Laker on Sunday. He in fact played his first game on the team Thursday.

Related Articles

Home on Tigertail Road with the Agency's Santiago Arana, listing agent and developer (Credit: Google Maps)

A Brentwood spec mansion across from LeBron James just sold

From left: Saeed Nourmand, Michael Nourmand, Grant King and Richard Heyman

Relevant Group sues Nourmand & Associates’ founder, alleging extortion over hotel projects

Centennial founder and CEO Steven Levin with a rendering of the project

Centennial Real Estate approved for sprawling $300M mixed-use village

Apartment complex at 1435 Stanley Avenue and Raintree Partners CEO Jeffrey Allen (Credit: Apartment Finder)

Raintree Partners spends $79M on Glendale multifamily portfolio

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti

Down goes Measure EE: Property tax referendum routed at polls

CIM Group Founders, Shaul Kuba, Richard Ressler, and Avi Shemesh and 4750 Wilshire Boulevard (Credit: Google Maps)

CIM Group lists part of its Miracle Mile office campus

Arman Gabay and The Springs shopping center in Palm Springs, part of the 14-property portfolio

Charles Co. secures $215M refi for retail portfolio

Joon Choi, principal at Harbor Associates, and 2400 Conejo Spectrum Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Harbor Associates leases up then sells off its Thousand Oaks office park