LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The investigation into the University of Louisville's men's basketball program has businesses owners around the city questioning how it could affect their bottom line.

The men's program is the No. 1 money-maker in college basketball, and nearby businesses have been able to cash in.

"Downtown Louisville is the economic driver for the whole state, and the Yum! Center is one of the most significant parts of that," said Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith. We do not yet know what the complete fallout will be, and should the death penalty find its way to the men's basketball team at the University of Louisville, that will definitely have a major negative impact on the Yum! Center."

And it could potentially hurt nearby businesses. The Yum! Center brings a lot of foot traffic into bars and restaurants on Main Street, including Patrick O'Shea's.

"We do get a lot of pre-and post-business from the games," said Eliza Porter with O'Shea's. "I hope they don't give us the death penalty, just from a fan perspective."

While the men's games aren't the pub's primary means of profits, they do cash in on other events, especially concerts. The program does, however, give surrounding bars a big boost.

"Obviously we're sad," Porter said. "We would not want our U of L neighbors to leave."

But workers are looking to the future with the glass half-full. 

"We do have a lot of other things that go on here," Porter said. "We do private events, weddings, rehearsal dinners, private parties, and we also have a late-night scene on the weekends."

Sexton Smith said the unknown should prompt local leaders to brainstorm about other revenue generators just in case.

"My hope is that the Cards will be playing men's basketball all season in the Yum! Center," she said. "If not, we'll find other ways to make up that impact."

Related Stories:

Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.