Report: NFL could lose $5 billion if season played without fans

The NFL has avoided any major setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks in large part to timing. If things don’t improve in the next few months, though, the league could be on the brink of an unprecedented financial hit.

If a full 17-week regular season is played without fans in attendance, which remains a possibility, the league could collectively lose billions of dollars in revenue.

While the league is confident there will be an NFL season in 2020, there is no guarantee fans will be able to attend games. States across the country are opening up to sports, but there are also fears that there could be a second wave of COVID-19.

If that hits in September, right when the regular season begins, the economic fallout for every team would be staggering. According to estimates from Forbes’ Mike Ozanian, the NFL would lose $5.5 billion in stadium revenue this upcoming season, a 38% hit to the league’s total revenue, if games are played in empty stadiums.

The projection is even worse than earlier estimates for one of the NFL’s nightmare scenarios. At a time when many hoped the salary cap would skyrocket next season thanks to new television deals, a 38% revenue hit would send the cap tumbling down for years to come.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Johnson | Last updated 5/20/20

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