SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - For the second year in a row, the Santa Cruz Warriors are in the NBA Developmental League Finals. And for a second year in a row, a successful team does wonders for local businesses.
"Sales have increased, everything's gone up," said Kelly Failing, manager of Kianti's Pizza & Pasta Bar.
Wearing your Warriors gear not only supports your team but gets you 10 percent off on your meal at Kianti's on game nights.
"People park downtown, they want to hang out for a little while, they want to get some food before the game," Failing said.
Since the Kaiser Permanente Arena opened two years ago, the Warriors say the most traffic they see is on foot, not in cars.
"We haven't had any issues with traffic or parking for that matter," said Matt de Nesnera, Warriors PR manager.
The team says with 5,400 parking spaces within a mile of the arena, it's the only thing fans have been quiet about.
"We have heard anything, any complaints in two years of operation," de Nesnera said.
The Warriors say the whole idea of putting the team in downtown Santa Cruz was to funnel fans through downtown to the game and back through downtown after the game.
"We close typically at 10 but if people are still coming in at 10 and we still have menus down we'll keep serving people," Failing said.
Local businesses say while basketball season is ending, summer is right around the corner, just extending the Santa Cruz Boardwalk traffic.
The Warriors dropped Game 1 to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants 102-92. Game 2 is Saturday in Indiana. The D-League finals is best of three.