The labor dispute between the NBA owners and players has spoiled dreams of big profits for businesses near the American Airlines Center.
Businesses were looking forward to capacity crowds for the banner-hanging ceremony during the Dallas Mavericks' season opener, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday night.
Instead they are mourning the cancellation of at least the first month of the NBA season -- and maybe more.
"They're not affecting just themselves, they're affecting everybody else," said Gabriel Benavides, manager of Neo's Pizza near the AAC. "That's why you want to be in a location like this, because you get that extra business just from the games, sometimes four, five, six nights a week."
The Dallas Stars' regular season began in October, but Benavides said the Stars draw very small crowds, even though they are playing very good hockey.
"We need basketball," he said.
All sorts of North Texas businesses suffer from the absence of professional basketball, said taxi driver Johnny Wicker.
"We can't afford to lose," he said. "They may be able to afford to lose, but we can't."
Some players are expressing their disappointment, too.
"Watchn finals film 4yr old said 'u don't play basketball no more' good 1 lockout," Jason Terry said in a Twitter posting Saturday.
Wicker said kids are not the only ones who notice the difference.
"We depend on them to be here," he said. "They need to get their act together."